Laws of nature and nomic necessity: Was Kant really a projectivist?

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Abstract

What did Kant have to sayabout the lawfulness of nature and the necessity that seemingly goes with our nomic judgments? Like Hume before him, the Critical Kant toosaw the necessity of our nomic judgments as originatingsomehowin our mind, or betterinthe faculty of understanding. Yetagulf separates Kant from Hume. ForKant’smature view about the lawfulness of nature and the abil-ity of our facultyofunderstanding to prescribe laws to nature bringsthe discus-sion about the necessityofour nomic judgments onto an entirelynew realm, un-known to his predecessorsand hardlyacknowledgedbycontemporary philosophers of science, whose debates on nomic necessity have been polarized between Humeans and Necessitarians.

In this essay, Iclarify the nature of the prescribingforcethatthe Critical Kant assigned to the faculty of understandinginexplaining nature’slawfulness and the modal necessity thataccompanies such move. Most importantly,Iclarify what Kant did not subscribe to. Forthere is awidespread and temptingview that for long time has interpreted Kant’sview on the lawfulness of nature along projectivist lines. Iexplain whyinmyviewKant’sbold claim about the un-derstandingprescribinglawstonature should not be understood along the lines of aform of projectivism about laws.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNatur und Freiheit: Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the XII International Kant Congress "Nature and Freedom"
EditorsVioletta Waibel, Margit Ruffing, David Wagner
Place of PublicationBerlin
Publisherde Gruyter
Pages397-414
ISBN (Print)9783110467888
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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