Archivio Di Filosofia 8 (1):149-161 (2019)

This article explores the historical background of the Kantian demarcation between non-science, improper science and proper science. It is argued that Kant’s claim that « a doctrine of nature will contain only as much proper science as there is mathematics capable of application there » ensued after a long series of responses to the demarcation challenge preceding Kant’s, which responses attempted to distinguish between proper mathematics and proper natural science. The article suggests that the unusual expression « improper science » is a direct response to the conception that proper natural science is independent of any mathematics. Finally, it defends the notion that this tripartition is already at work in Kant’s first articles on physics and that it is this division that lies in the background of the Kantian project to bring metaphysics onto the path of science.
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