- Kant’s Philosophical Development
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These bold ideas doomed the text. A Christian advisor, even an open-minded one, could never approve it. The dynamic ontology in chapter 1 contradicts the genesis account found in the Bible. According to the Bible, God is the creator of everything. But Kant suggests that force creates everything—force, not God, is the creator of nature. Worse, force can be modeled mathematically, as he argues in chapter 2, and it can be jointly determined by two quantities, as he argues in chapter 3.
Kant’s Philosophical Development
Now Kant speaks of God as possible maker of multiple universes 8; , as engineer of dimensions 11; , and as sealing off this world from improbable others ibid. But in the same breath 7—10 , he makes force responsible for these tasks. And he already showed his hand in his praise for the entelechy. Entelechies are programs of the self-organization and sustenance of things—in Aristotle's words, a dynamis put en ergon or put in action; i. Kant's waffling over God and force permits only two readings. Neither of them would be palatable to any Christian worth his salt: either God is creative force, or God created creative force.
By Kant's account, the former would mean that God is describable as a physical quantity.
'AHS: Apocalypse' - The Biggest Questions That Need to Be Answered in the Finale
The latter would imply that force, not God, created the universe. Whoever suggests either is not a believer and does not deserve to graduate under a Pietist advisor, not even a liberal one. So Kant was passed over.
Knutzen never recommended him, and in Knutzen's letters to Leonard Euler —83 , he is not on the list of excellent students Waschkies The professor had more regular favorites, such as Johann Weitenkampf b. Kant took resort to irony 4; Many years later , after Knutzen's death, when Kant finally enjoyed some public recognition, he would secure his long-desired professorship by striking a deal with the administration to snatch Knutzen's chair from Buck, pushing the pet student to another post without even asking.
He needed hope because he had made up his mind. He knew what he was doing, and he was defiant.
Kant's own intent was to understand the powers of nature and he set out to solve the puzzle of force. The Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces was a contribution to the so-called vis-viva -controversy; its goal was to settle the issue once and for all. The issue was as simple as it is profound: what is force, and how can it be measured? The controversy had begun in the previous century and was rife through the entirety of the modern period.http://derivid.route1.com/las-cenizas-del-juramento-memorias-del-juramento-1.php
Following the implications of his mechanical description of physical substances, Descartes argued that force is reducible to the mathematical quantity of motion observable in matter. Descartes contended that this quantity is conserved in the universe. Nature is matter in motion, and motion is the explanatory principle. Cartesian essence can be isolated to physical and mental substances and force is neither of these. Force is not a dynamic essence, nor an essence at all. It is merely a quantity of motion calculable in another substance.
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By his rendering, Descartes reduced physics to kinematics. Leibniz rejected the Cartesian formulation.
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Force is real, he argued, and it is more than a quantity mv of Decartes — it is the basic quality of nature and its activity can be observed in nature. Leibniz expanded physics to a dynamics. Leibniz was correct about rising and falling bodies, but the Cartesians Descartes had died in pointed to other experiments in support of the mv -formula. Unfortunately for the early debate, the issue could not be decided—because both sides had been right; there is both momentum and kinetic energy. So the arguments continued for decades. After Leibniz's death , the controversy continued through his followers, who quarreled with the current crop of French Cartesians.
Newtonians were split over vis viva ; Newton and his British fans rejected it, while continental Newtonians accepted it. After Newton's death , in the s, the issue was settled—in Newton's favor. D'Alembert proved that there is a place for both quantities in physics Before that, Euler had already found out that Descartes's momentum is Newton's force acting over time, and Leibniz's kinetic energy is Newton's force acting through space. It did take, however, a while before this information spread and became generally accepted. The debate died down around the time Kant published the Living Forces Kant's debut was one of the many attempts at settling the dispute, but for all practical purposes, it was a failure.
The Living Forces appeared too late to make any difference, and Kant was unaware of d'Alembert's and Euler's research. But what doomed the book in the public eye was that Kant seemed to have bet on the wrong team of horses. He argued for a synthesis of Cartesian kinematics and Leibnizian dynamics, and did so at the expense of Newtonian mechanics. At the time he grasped Newton's ideas only partially.
He did not yet understand that motion, like rest, is a state something Galileo had discovered and that force is needed only for changing, not for keeping a state which is Newton's first law of motion. He not only implicitly rejected Newton through such mistakes, but also explicitly questions his authority preface, He tried to determine force without even mentioning the second law of motion that defines it as the product of mass and acceleration. For Kant, Newtonian mechanics was irrelevant.
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While there are hundreds of references to Descartes and Leibniz in the book, the references to Newton can be counted on the fingers of one hand. In fact, however, Kant was not as mistaken as it seemed at the time. More importantly, he proposed a deep connection. While showing in chapter 2 that Descartes's quantity is empirically well supported, he argued in chapter 3 that Leibniz's quantity must be factored in to arrive at a full qualitative understanding of force.
That is, Kant not only regarded momentum and energy as relevant quantities, as d'Alembert had done, but he grasped that their union points to the universal nature of force. This was sharper than even Euler's insight. Euler had discovered that these quantities are derivable from Newtonian force and that there is accordingly a quantitative connection among them. But Kant invested this connection with qualitative meaning, arguing that the structure of nature must be understood in dynamic terms, and that Newton really misses the point.
Throughout the book, he wrestles with the harmony of opposites, Cartesian kinematics and Leibnizian dynamics, trying to marry momentum and energy—while having the audacity to criticize Newton. This is the thrust of the work. Taken as a prediction, it is superb. With his first publication, Kant intuited not only that matter is ultimately energetic, but also that its dynamic measure is momentum-energy. Kant understood what force involves.
He argues that force is the essence of action 4. Out-broadening of force ausbreiten ; Force makes the continuum, being governed, in turn, by the created structure This shift in understanding the nature of force correspondingly alters the nature one must think of material objects and dynamic interaction.
The origin and source is force, and not substance, as the Cartesians had insisted. Force is responsible for substance, quantification and laws of nature—not the other way around. Dynamic interaction turns force into a field and the void into a plenum. Kant anticipated that momentum-energy is the substantial correlate of spacetime.
Bypassing Newton, he caught up with Einstein.