Does Kant have a pre-Newtonian picture of force in the balance argument? An account of how the balance argument works
In this paper, I discuss whether the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science version of Kant’s argument that space-filling matter requires both attractive and repulsive forces betrays a pre-Newtonian picture of forces as Warren (2010) argues. More generally, I discuss Kant’s overall strategy for securing the possibility of space-filling matter and I describe what motivates Kant to think of the argument in the way, I believe, he does. Ultimately, I argue that Kant’s argument does not suggest a pre-Newtonian picture of forces. Along the way, I discuss the status of quantity of matter and the nature of forces in the Dynamics chapter of that work so as to better clarify what is at work in the balance argument.