Projects per year
Abstract
Cassirer’s philosophical agenda revolved around what appears to be a paradoxical goal, that is, to reconcile the Kantian explanation of the possibility of knowledge with the conceptual changes of nineteenth and early twentiethcentury science. This paper offers a new discussion of one way in which this paradox manifests itself in Cassirer’s philosophy of mathematics. Cassirer articulated a unitary perspective on mathematics as an investigation of structures independently of the nature of individual objects making up those structures. However, this posed the problem of how to account for the applicability of abstract mathematical concepts to empirical reality. My suggestion is that Cassirer was able to address this problem by giving a transcendental account of mathematical reasoning, according to which the very formation of mathematical concepts provides an explanation of the extensibility of mathematical knowledge. In order to spell out what this argument entails, the first part of the paper considers how Cassirer positioned himself within the Marburg neoKantian debate over intellectual and sensible conditions of knowledge in 1902–1910. The second part compares what Cassirer says about mathematics in 1910 with some relevant examples of how structural procedures developed in nineteenthcentury mathematics.
Original language  English 

Pages (fromto)  3040 
Number of pages  11 
Journal  Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 
Volume  79 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  Feb 2020 
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
 603113 Philosophy
Keywords
 Ernst Cassirer
 HISTORY
 Mathematical reasoning
 Mathematical structuralism
 Neokantianism
 PHILOSOPHY
 Transcendental philosophy
 Unity of knowledge
Projects
 1 Finished

Structuralism: The Roots of Mathematical Structuralism
Schiemer, G. & Kolowrat, F.
1/03/17 → 28/02/22
Project: Research funding