Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science

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Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science
Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (German edition).jpg
The German edition
AuthorImmanuel Kant
Original titleMetaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft
Media typePrint

Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (German: Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft) is a 1786 book by Immanuel Kant.


The book is divided into four chapters. The chapters are concerned with the metaphysical foundations of phoronomy (now called kinematics), dynamics, mechanics, and phenomenology.


Kant's book was a basic influence on the rise of science departments of the universities in the German-speaking countries in the nineteenth century.

Hans Christian Ørsted wrote "Differential and integral calculus consist of nothing but .. thought experiments and considerations of them. ... In his Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Kant has given us the most beautiful examples of this kind of presentation, without, however, drawing attention to it himself."[1]

Kurt Gödel was influenced by Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft. Gödel studied it while a member of the Vienna Circle.


  1. ^ Karen Jelved, Andrew D. Jackson, and Ole Knudsen, (1997) translators for Selected Scientific Works of Hans Christian Ørsted, ISBN 0-691-04334-5, p. 296. Section 16 of Chapter 29, "First Introduction to General Physics: the Spirit, Meaning, and Goal of Natural Science". (Copenhagen 1811, in Danish, printed by Johan Frederik Schulz. In Kirstine Meyer's 1920 edition of Ørsted's works, pp. 151–190.) Reprinted (1836) Schweigger's Journal für Chemie und Physik 36, pp. 458–488.

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