Scott Edgar


Saint Mary’s University, Canada

Hermann Cohen’s rationalist philosophy of mathematics

In his 1883 Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History, the Marburg School neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen gives a philosophically critical history of calculus’ development in the early modern period. Despite being an interpreter of Kant, his account is deeply rationalist. He is centrally concerned with establishing that the foundational concepts of calculus are valid -- that is, that we are justified in using them in our mathematical natural scientific descriptions of reality.