Poincaréan intuition revisited: What can we learn from Kant and Parsons?

M. MacDougall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper provides a comprehensive critique of Poincaré's usage of the term intuition in his defence of the foundations of pure mathematics and science. Kant's notions of sensibility and a priori form and Parsons's theory of quasi-concrete objects are used to impute rigour into Poincaré's interpretation of intuition. In turn, Poincaré's portrayal of sensible intuition as a special kind of intuition that tolerates the senses and imagination is rejected. In its place, a more harmonized account of how we perceive concrete objects is offered whereby intuitive knowledge is consistently a priori whatever the domain of application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalStudies In History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Charles Parsons
  • Henri Poincaré
  • Immanuel Kant
  • Quasi-concrete object
  • Sensibility
  • Sensible intuition


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