XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Matter, Inertia, and the Contingency of Laws of Nature in Leibniz and Kant: Some Points of Comparison

Brandon Look

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Beccaria
Data: 26 maggio 2010 - 17:00
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


This paper examines the nature of matter – in particular, the principle of inertia – and the modal status of the laws of nature in Kant’s philosophy of material nature through a contrast with the philosophy of Leibniz. It questions Kant’s arguments for the essential lifelessness of matter and attempts to show that they fail to meet Kant’s objectives. Especially in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Kant’s arguments are weak; and they ought to be seen as completed by the anti-Leibnizian arguments of the Critique of Pure Reason. Ultimately, it is claimed that Kant ought to treat the principle of inertia as a regulative principle.