WHAT: 1st Spinoza Lecture 2012. Michael Friedman on Extending the Dynamics of Reason. (Followed by drinks.)
WHERE: Oude Lutherse Kerk, Singel 411 Amsterdam
WHEN: Thursday 29 March, 19:15 (seating is limited so please don’t be late!)
A Post?Kuhnian Approach to the History and Philosophy of Science: Extending the Dynamics of Reason.
Friedman’s Dynamics of Reason (2001) responds to Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions by developing a new?Kantian conception of dynamical and historically relative a priori constitutive principles and applies this concept to Kuhn’s central example of the transition from Newtonian physics to Einstein’s theory of relativity. It argues for the trans?historical rationality of this revolutionary scientific change by appealing to the contemporaneous developments in scientific philosophy throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, involving such figures as Hermann von Helmholtz, Ernst Mach, and Henri Poincaré. This first Spinoza lecture of 2012 briefly summarises this argument and then extends it in two interrelated ways? by, on the one hand, exploring the scientific, philosophical, and theological background to Kant’s original conception of a non?dynamical, timeless conception of the synthetic a priori, and on the other, relating these developments to the wider cultural context. Friedman thus makes a beginning in connecting the purely intellectual historical narrative on which he has concentrated so far with cultural and political history, thus making contact with work in history of science and science studies.
Michael Friedman is currently Frederick P. Rehmus Family Professor of Humanities at Stanford University. His publications include Foundations of Space?Time Theories: Relativistic Physics and the Philosophy of Science (1983), Kant and the Exact Sciences (1992), Reconsidering Logical Positivism (1999), A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger (2000), and Dynamics of Reason (2001). He is the editor (and translator) of Immanuel Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (2004), the co?editor (with A. Nordmann) of The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth?Century Science (2006), and the co?editor (with R. Creath) of The Cambridge Companion to Carnap (2007).
The Spinoza Chair was established in 1995 by the then Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. This semester professor Michael Friedman will be holding the Spinoza Chair. He will deliver two Spinoza lectures under the title: A Post-Kuhnian Approach to the History and Philosophy of Science.
1st Spinoza lecture: Thursday March 29: Extending the Dynamics of Reason
2nd Spinoza lecture: Thursday April 5: Mathematical Science, Naturalism, and Normativity
The Amsterdam Culture Group will attend both lectures.