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The Critical Stance: Ernst Cassirer and the Realist–Empiricist Dispute in the Philosophy of Science

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dc.contributor.advisor Mitscherling, Jeff
dc.contributor.advisor Wayne, Andrew Struck, David Brooke 2015-09-30T17:29:21Z 2015-09-30T17:29:21Z 2015-09 2015-09-14 2015-09-30
dc.description.abstract In the contemporary philosophy of science, the champions of the realist–empiricist dispute are structural realism and constructive empiricism, respectively. In establishing their historical lineage, structural realists point to the work of Ernst Cassirer. In this dissertation, I argue that Cassirer cannot be pressed into service to their cause; while some of his conclusions about science seem prima facie in line with structure realism, any such agreement is merely apparent. Digging into Cassirer’s philosophy of science, and situating that work within his broader project of the philosophy of symbolic forms, it becomes clear that his arguments instead present an important challenge to the structural realist camp. In fact, his arguments against abstraction and epistemic foundationalism speak against any assumption of a mind-independent world, undermining the contemporary realist–empiricist dispute in toto. In place of the doctrines of realism and empiricism, Cassirer offers us the system of the symbolic forms. In place of the empirical and metaphysical stances, I develop on Cassirer’s behalf the critical stance, drawing on Cassirer’s appreciation of Kantian transcendentalism and Hegelian dialecticism. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Ontario Graduate Scholarship en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Attribution 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject Cassirer, Ernst en_US
dc.subject Strucutural realism en_US
dc.subject Constructive empiricism en_US
dc.subject Philosophy of science en_US
dc.subject Critical idealism en_US
dc.subject Philosophy of symbolic forms en_US
dc.subject Philosophy en_US
dc.title The Critical Stance: Ernst Cassirer and the Realist–Empiricist Dispute in the Philosophy of Science en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Philosophy en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US Department of Philosophy en_US
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Attribution 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 2.5 Canada