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Profile: Scott Edgar (Saint Mary's University)
  1. Scott Edgar, Hermann Cohen's Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History: A Rationalist Interpretation.
    This paper defends a Leibnizian rationalist interpretation of Hermann Cohen’s Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History (1883). The first half of the paper identifies Cohen’s various different philosophical aims in the PIM. It argues that they are unified by the fact that Cohen’s arguments for addressing those aims all depend on a single shared premise. That linchpin premise is the claim that mathematical natural science can represent individual objects only if it also represents infinitesimal magnitudes. The second half (...)
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  2. Scott Edgar (forthcoming). The Physiology of the Sense Organs and Early Neo-Kantian Conceptions of Objectivity: Helmholtz, Lange, Liebmann. In Flavia Padovani, Alan Richardson & Jonathan Y. Tsou (eds.), Objectivity in Science: Approaches to Historical Epistemology. Boston Studies in Philosophy and History of Science. Springer.
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  3. Scott Edgar (2013). The Limits of Experience and Explanation: F. A. Lange and Ernst Mach on Things in Themselves. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (1):100-121.
    In the middle of the nineteenth century, advances in experimental psychology and the physiology of the sense organs inspired so-called "Back to Kant" Neo-Kantians to articulate robustly psychologistic visions of Kantian epistemology. But their accounts of the thing in itself were fraught with deep tension: they wanted to conceive of things in themselves as the causes of our sensations, while their own accounts of causal inference ruled that claim out. This paper diagnoses the source of that problem in views of (...)
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  4. Scott Edgar (2010). Hermann Cohen. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  5. Scott Edgar (2010). The Explanatory Structure of the Transcendental Deduction and a Cognitive Interpretation of the First Critique. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):285-314.
    Consider two competing interpretations of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason: the epistemic and cognitive interpretations. The epistemic interpretation presents the first Critique as a work of epistemology, but what is more, it sees Kant as an early proponent of anti-psychologism—the view that descriptions of how the mind works are irrelevant for epistemology.2 Even if Kant does not always manage to purge certain psychological-sounding idioms from his writing, the epistemic interpretation has it, he is perfectly clear that he means his evaluation (...)
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  6. Scott Edgar (2009). Logical Empiricism, Politics, and Professionalism. Science and Education 18 (2):177-189.
    This paper considers George A. Reisch’s account of the role of Cold War political forces in shaping the apolitical stance that came to dominate philosophy of science in the late 1940s and 1950s. It argues that at least as early as the 1930s, Logical Empiricists such as Rudolf Carnap already held that philosophy of science could not properly have political aims, and further suggests that political forces alone cannot explain this view’s rise to dominance during the Cold War, since political (...)
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  7. Scott Edgar (2008). Paul Natorp and the Emergence of Anti-Psychologism in the Nineteenth Century. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (1):54-65.
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