"In consequence of this revolutionary assertion Kant states that: 'Space is not an empirical concept which has been derived from outer experiences.' (B/38) On the contrary: '…it is the subjective condition of sensibility, under which alone outer intuition is possible for us.' (A/26; B/42)
In other words, Kant asserts that space (and time) are not objective, self-subsisting realities, but subjective requirements of our human sensory-cognitive faculties to which all things must conform. Space and time serve as indispensable tools that arrange and systemize the images of the objects imported by our sensory organs. The raw data supplied by our eyes and ears would be useless if our minds didn't have space and time to make sense of it all. ...
Kant's view of space (and time) is the groundwork of his Critique [of Pure Reason], However the inseparable bond he claimed between geometry and the nature of space serves to undermine his case rather than support it. ...
When Kant refers to geometry, he must mean Euclidean geometry, since Non-Euclidean geometry, the brainchild of the 19th Century, was unknown to him. Hence space, in Kant's philosophical system must conform to Euclidean geometry. Norman Kemp Smith, in his Commentary on the Critique, remarked that for Kant '…space in order to be space at all, must be Euclidean.'
Space, in Euclidean Geometry, is a concept which is independent of the attributes of our human minds and senses. The word Geometry is derived from Greek - geo 'earth', and metron 'to measure', namely 'earth measurement'. With such semantic-conceptual roots its hardly conceivable that Euclid regarded Geometry as divorced from an objective independent space."
(Pinhas Ben-Zvi, 2005, Philosophy Now)
Ben-Zvi, P. (2005). "Kant on Space." Philosophy Now, January/February 2005(49).
"Balls, pendulums, apples and magnets all played their part in the story of modern physics, but then things got weird. And when Albert Einstein combined time and space, things got even weirder - step forward quantum uncertainty, black holes and the Big Bang."
(BBC Two, UK)
Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 2 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 13 November at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 13 Nov 2012 by BBC.
"The conventional model of science, technology and society locates sources of violence in politics and ethics, that is, in the application of science and technology, not in scientific knowledge itself.
The fact-value dichotomy is a creation of modern, reductionist science which, while being an epistemic response to a particular set of values, claims to be independent of values. According to the received view, modern science is the discovery of the properties of nature in accordance with a 'scientific method' which generates 'objective', 'neutral', 'universal' knowledge. This view of modern science as a description of reality as it is, unprejudiced by value, can be rejected on at least four grounds.
All knowledge, including modern scientific knowledge, is built through the use of a plurality of methodologies. As Feyerabend observes:
There is no 'scientific method'; there is no single procedure, or set of rules that underlines every piece of research and guarantees that it is 'scientific' and, therefore, trustworthy. The idea of a universal and stable method that is an unchanging measure of adequacy and even the idea of a universal and stable rationality is as unrealistic as the idea of a universal and stable measuring instrument that measures any magnitude, no matter what the circumstances. Scientists revise their standards, their procedures, their criteria of rationality as they move along and perhaps entirely replace their theories and their instruments as they move along and enter new domains of research (Feyerband, 1978, p. 98).
The view that science is just a discovery of facts about nature does not get support from philosophy either. If scientific knowledge is assumed to give true, factual knowledge of 'reality as it is', then we would have to 'conclude that Newtonian theory was true until around 1900, after which it suddenly became false, while relativity and quantum theories became the truth' (Bohm, 1981, p. 4)."
(Vandana Shiva, 1990)
1). Shiva, V. (1990). 'Reductionist science as epistemological violence'. 'Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity'. A. Nandy, Oxford University Press: 314.
Paul Feyerabend, Science in a Free Society (London: New Left Books, 1978).
David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981).
"A falling apple is supposed to have inspired Newton's theory of universal gravitation, a simple chance observation in his back garden that helped, even in a small way, to shape the way we understand our place in the cosmos. The story was perhaps invented by Newton himself so that he could claim his very own eureka moment, but whether or not it truly is the origin of his theory, the falling apple has come to be a simple yet powerful illustration of his thinking. So potent is the story that now, over 300 years later, a number of gardens claim to have the actual tree that dropped Newton's apple, while the Brogdale National Fruit Collection in the United Kingdom holding the license to sell grafts of one of these Newton trees-which it curiously describes as 'a very shy cropper.' Does it make any difference to our understanding of the world to see the original tree or watch one of its apples fall for ourselves? Not really, but an artefact like this develops an important gravitational pull of its own-a sense that we are being pulled closer to the essence of things. Perhaps though, the apple tree also serves as a gentle reminder that we can never really know what happened for Newton that day in the garden, no matter how close we stand to it. So much of a research process tends to go unseen, and even then there are parts of that process that are impossible to document, or are best kept unsaid. In ways that might not be possible for a thesis or a paper, an object that symbolises as much as Newton's apple tree might also imbue a sense of mystery-stories might be grafted on to it, but the simple silence of the tree itself can be a reflection of the quieter moments that helped contribute to this new knowledge."