Kant's Early Theory of Motion

The Leibniz Review 19:29-61 (2009)
Authors
Marius Stan
Boston College
Abstract
This paper examines the young Kant’s claim that all motion is relative, and argues that it is the core of a metaphysical dynamics of impact inspired by Leibniz and Wolff. I start with some background to Kant’s early dynamics, and show that he rejects Newton’s absolute space as a foundation for it. Then I reconstruct the exact meaning of Kant’s relativity, and the model of impact he wants it to support. I detail (in Section II and III) his polemic engagement with Wolffian predecessors, and how he grounds collisions in a priori dynamics. I conclude that, for the young Kant, the philosophical problematic of Newton’s science takes a back seat to an agenda set by the Leibniz-Wolff tradition of rationalist dynamics. This results matters, because Kant’s views on motion survive well into the 1780s. In addition, his doctrine attests to the richness of early modern views of the relativity of motion
Keywords Kant  Leibniz  Absolute space  Theory of motion  Relationism  Dynamical laws  Causation
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DOI 10.5840/leibniz2009192
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Kant's Third Law of Mechanics: The Long Shadow of Leibniz.Marius Stan - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):493-504.
The Early Kant's (Anti-) Newtonianism.Eric Watkins - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):429-437.
Cartesian Echoes in Kant's Philosophy of Nature.Michela Massimi & Silvia De Bianchi - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):481-492.

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