Matter Matters: Metaphysics and Methodology in the Early Modern Period. By Kurt Smith.

Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):849-851 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

© 2013 The Editors of The Philosophical QuarterlyWhy did matter matter for Descartes and Leibniz? The answer, Kurt Smith argues in this thought‐provoking book, is that without it mathematics would be unintelligible. A world without matter is insufficient for mathematics because the immaterial cannot be divided into discrete quantities. Without a divisible material structure, the determinate unities necessary for the additive quantities in turn necessary for mathematics are unactualisable. God needs matter to institute mathematics. However, with the creation of matter, mathematical intelligibility necessarily follows. Smith's main aim, therefore, is to show that Descartes and Leibniz believed the biconditional: ‘Mathematics is intelligible if, and only if, matter exists’.The bulk of the book is dedicated to ‘analysis’ and ‘synthesis’. For Smith, analysis is a kind of transcendental process by which one discovers the basic conceptual categories necessary for the possibility of any object under investigation. A triangle's...

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,139

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-09-14

Downloads
51 (#292,755)

6 months
4 (#573,918)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jeremy William Dunham
Durham University

Citations of this work

The reality of the intuitive.Elijah Chudnoff - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):371-385.
Constitutive essence and partial grounding.Eileen S. Nutting, Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):137-161.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references