Book ID: CBB001252396

The Determinate World: Kant and Helmholtz on the Physical Meaning of Geometry (2009)


Hyder, David Jalal (Author)

Walter de Gruyter

Publication Date: 2009
Physical Details: viii + 229 pp.; bibl.
Language: English

This book offers a new interpretation of Hermann von Helmholtz's work on the epistemology of geometry. A detailed analysis of the philosophical arguments of Helmholtz's Erhaltung der Kraft shows that he took physical theories to be constrained by a regulative ideal. They must render nature completely comprehensible, which implies that all physical magnitudes must be relations among empirically given phenomena. This conviction eventually forced Helmholtz to explain how geometry itself could be so construed. Hyder shows how Helmholtz answered this question by drawing on the theory of magnitudes developed in his research on the colour-space. He argues against the dominant interpretation of Helmholtz's work by suggesting that for the latter, it is less the inductive character of geometry that makes it empirical, and rather the regulative requirement that the system of natural science be empirically closed.

Reviewed By

Review Hatfield, Gary (2012) Review of "The Determinate World: Kant and Helmholtz on the Physical Meaning of Geometry". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 769-770). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Hyder, David Jalal
Glas, Eduard
Bellosta, Hélène
Rashed, Roshdi
Michel, Alain P.
Darrigol, Olivier
Science in Context
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Foundations of Science
Journal for General Philosophy of Science
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Brill Academic
Université de Montréal (Canada)
Birkhäuser Basel
Philosophy of mathematics
Philosophy of science
Mathematics and its relationship to science
Kant, Immanuel
Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Grassmann, Hermann Günther
Chasles, Michel
Maxwell, James Clerk
Klein, Felix
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
10th century
9th century

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