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Plato's Cave

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
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#51
Newton said space was absolute hence classical physics. Leibniz just said space consisted solely of "spatial relations" between objects. Then Kant said Newton was right because if there was a left hand in space it'd be more absolute than anything, and of course, he has his critics so it may not even be true in the first place.
I don't understand what you mean by this. Kant disagreed with Leibniz, yes—he thought the latter's theory of space as relations between empirically given things could not provide an explanation of chirality such as the difference between a right hand and a left hand, for which an appeal to intuition and a priori laws of geometry would be necessary—but what does this have to do with proving Newton right? Newton's ideas of absolute space don't help either.
 

Pizzabeak

Prolific Member
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#52
Newton said space was absolute hence classical physics. Leibniz just said space consisted solely of "spatial relations" between objects. Then Kant said Newton was right because if there was a left hand in space it'd be more absolute than anything, and of course, he has his critics so it may not even be true in the first place.
I don't understand what you mean by this. Kant disagreed with Leibniz, yes—he thought the latter's theory of space as relations between empirically given things could not provide an explanation of chirality such as the difference between a right hand and a left hand, for which an appeal to intuition and a priori laws of geometry would be necessary—but what does this have to do with proving Newton right? Newton's ideas of absolute space don't help either.
I don't get what you mean. It's generally well documented in history that Kant's views more so supported Newton's ideas, whatever that may imply. Chirality is common in biochemistry, as humans can only digest left handed molecules. It's known as R or S for rectus or sinister. I'm not sure your point. All it really means is Leibniz attacked the usual Newtonian notions of absolute space and time. I guess at the end of the day it's just a difficulty in accepting metaphysical truths, in the case of rational or empirical knowledge. Rationalists can seek truth through reflection and empiricists say only real belief can come from experience. You don't really know something just because you read it, it still takes field work or hands on experience.
 

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
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#53
I think it has more to do with defending the laws of geometry against skepticism than defending Newton against Leibniz. Kant says in his first critique that the axioms of geometry are synthetic, but nevertheless a priori judgments, meaning that one can deny them without contradicting oneself, but they are nevertheless true for human experience. If space had a fourth dimension, we could flip left handed molecules in a third direction so that they become right handed, but it doesn't and we can't, at least not according to human intuition.
 
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