XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Classical Reason and Quantum Rationality: Transcendental Philosophy Face Contemporary Physics

Patricia Kauark Leite

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: Conference Room
Data: 26 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


The Kant’s account of pure reason takes as reference the classical physics. In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant argues that the empirical knowledge of the world depends on a priori conditions of human sensibility and understanding, i. e., our capacities of sense experience and concept formation. The objective knowledge presupposes, on one hand, space and time as a priori conditions of sensibility and, on another hand, a priori judgments, like the principle of causality, as constitutive conditions of understanding. The problem is that in the XX century the physical science completely changed how we conceive our knowledge of the world. Face to this new situation, what was changed in our classical reason? However, if the transcendental point of view is adopted, in the specific case of quantum mechanics, we have to wonder about the general conditions of this theory that make possible such knowledge, which predictive value is much more accurate than the classical physics.
In the1930’s, efforts to extend transcendental analysis to the field of contemporary physics were made by Neo-Kantian philosophers, such as Grete Hermann, Ernst Cassirer and even Heisenberg himself. More recently, new approaches began more exhaustively to explore the potential of transcendental philosophy, anchored on current debates about the fundaments of quantum mechanics. It represents a welcome change of perspective from the view of logical empiricists and scientific realists who, for decades, rejected the transcendental method, as a potential tool for providing new insights on the epistemic basis of scientific knowledge.
The aim of this work is firstly to show the Kantian implications on Bohr’s interpretation of quantum phenomena and secondly to provide an overview of the key elements for understanding the transcendental locus of ordinary language in the quantum mechanics context, in order to give support to a transcendental pragmatic position in the analysis of science.