University of Cambridge > > Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology occasional seminars > Beacon Salon # 18 Immanuel Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason (by a NatSci, for NatScis)

Beacon Salon # 18 Immanuel Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason (by a NatSci, for NatScis)

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Eric Rees.

This informal seminar series presents topics of broad academic interest at an accessible level. The seminars are open to all, and research students at CEB and MedImmune are especially invited to attend. The talks will be about 30-45 minutes long, and questions are encouraged which open up new avenues for discussion. Tea and biscuits will be provided.

In engineering and biotechnology research, we often deal with the question “how can we learn from our experiments and studies in a scientific way?” But this is a special case of the general question “how can we learn [at all]” and the various attempts to answer to this general question – usually done as part of a complete system of philosophy – are actually quite important to scientists. Immanuel Kant’s transcendental philosophy, introduced in his legendary Critique of Pure Reason, offers influential insight into the nature of knowledge… It’s also a very hard book to read, and so in this talk I will try to introduce some of the concepts I think are most important for engineers and scientists to know about. I’ll also give a short biography of Kant, who actually lectured physics for much of his career, and explain how (in my view) his remarkably good understanding of physics and geometry helped him to write the most important work in modern philosophy. I will also particularly discuss Kant’s view on the nature of geometry and algebra.

This talk is part of the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology occasional seminars series.

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