IMI Interdisciplinary Mathematics InstituteCollege of Arts and Sciences

Kantianism at the Nanoscale

  • Feb. 24, 2009
  • 3:30 p.m.
  • Sumwalt 102


How should we understand the content of images of the nanoscale? For clearly, they cannot represent 'what the object would look like, if only our eyesight were better'. I will consider two traditional positions in the philosophy of science (broadly characterized as 'realism' and 'anti-realism') and reject them both. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that the objective content of science is to be understood in terms of the categories and forms in which the human mind is capable of perceiving and understanding. I will endorse a view along these lines, making reference to some recent work in the psychology of perception.

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