SOPhiA 2013

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Incongruent Counterparts and Enantiomorphism
(Metaphysik & Ontologie, Englisch)

In my talk I will first present Kant's argument for the existence of absolute space, as laid out in his work "On the First Ground of the Distinction of Regions in Space" (1768). This argument is based on the existence of the phenomenon of incongruent counterparts. Incongruent counterparts are two physical objets with exactly similar properties, except for the fact they cannot occupy the same region of space. Some examples of these objects include human hands and feet, left and right screws, etc. In his argument Kant tries to show that orientation of left and right hand cannot be explained neither by their internal relation, nor by relations with external objects. Thus, Kant concludes, it must be shown by the existence of absolute space. In the second part, I will present Peter Remnant's argument against Kant's proof. In brief, Remnant tries to prove wrong Kant's supposition that if a hand was the sole object created in the universe it must have a determinate orientation. In other words Remnant claimed that even if the only object in the universe was a single hand, it's orientation would be, stricly speaking, indederminate. I will explain Remnant's argument in more detail in my talk. In the third section, I will present how Graham Nerlich criticsed Remnant's argument as misguided, by proving that it presented a misunderstanding of Kant at best, and affirming his point at worst. Later I will show how Nerlich improved Kant's original argument by rephrasing it in terms of enantiomorphs. Finally, I will try to show why Remnant's criticism of Kant was right, and why Nerlich's both criticism of Remnant and improvement of Kant's original argument miss the mark. Using a thought experiment I will try to prove how a single hand in the universe, contrary to Nerlich's argument, can be shown to be either an enantiomorph or a homomorph.

Chair: Laurenz Hudetz
Zeit: 09:45-10:15, 14. September 2013 (Samstag)
Ort: HS 101

Aleksandar Simić
(Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbien)

Aleksandar Simić. Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. Currently 3rd year undergraduate (BA) student of Philosophy.

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