2012-04-20Berichte und sonstige Texte DOI: 10.18452/13530
Epistemologie der „strukturellen Intuition“ in der frühneuzeitlich-klassischen Himmelsmechanik
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philosophische Fakultät I
This treatise will examine the development of classical celestial mechanics as a natural science in the early modern age from certain methodological foundations of the prevalent mechanical philosophy. Since the (Cartesian) founding of the modern mechanical philosophy of nature, mathematical deduction has been generally accepted as a basic methodology of classical mechanics. The primacy and legitimacy of mathematical deduction in the early modern development of mechanics presupposed that a mathematical regularity invariably underlies the physical and mechanical nature - an assumption which almost neared a fact of faith, and held by all the founders of early modern mechanics such as Descartes, Kepler, Galileo or Newton. In this treatise I attempt to identify the axiomatic notions in early modern celestial mechanics essentially as structural intuitions and substantiate their epistemological precedence over mathematical deduction. While the geometric-mathematical deduction – especially in Newtonian mechanics – presupposes the primacy of a priori axiomatic knowledge over its a posteriori manifestation, the structural intuition seems to overcome the epistemological divide between apriority and aposteriority of axioms in the knowledge system of early modern mechanics. It is to be closely examined how the structural intuition embodies a fundamental epistemological correlation between mathematics and mechanics, which is verifiable in its objective manifestations, and which alone can directly result in axiomatic knowledge in the science of mechanics.
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