A brood comb

….philosophical and other notes….

Archive for November 14th, 2007

Has Kant performed a Copernician revolution?

Posted by Tanas Gjorgoski on November 14, 2007

Kant, in what may have been little more than a throwaway line, referred to his own critical philosophical method, as achieving a Copernican revolution in philosophy. […] He was alluding to an analogy between the way that the positions of the sun and earth are reversed in the Copernican cosmological transformation and the way that the positions of knowing subject and known object are reversed in his own transcendental idealism. But, as Bertrand Russell complained, surely there seems something inappropriate about this metaphor – Kant should have “spoken of a ‘Ptolemaic counter-revolution’, since he put man back at the center from which Copernicus had dethroned him.” […]Russell’s charge had, in fact been anticipated and responded to by the more sympathetic A.C.Ewing. “Just as Copernicus taught that the movement round the earth which man had ascribed to the sun was only an appearance due to our own movement,” stated Ewing, “so Kant taught that space and time which men had ascribed to reality were only appearances due to ourselves. The parallel is therefor correct.

Hegel’s Hermeneutics, Paul Redding, p.4

I guess as it is an analogy, there is no truth of matter to it. In every case analogy will go just so far. It depends how far we want the analogy to go to call it good analogy. Anyway, I thought it was interesting explanation of the analogy.

No analogy between this picture and the post

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