Kant’s DGM: Hypotheses in Science

  • Robert E. Butts
Part of the The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 24)


What I have chosen to describe as the Double Government Methodology is more than a methodology in the narrow sense—a set of rules or prescriptions for doing science. It is a meta-methodological programme. In the thought of Leibniz that programme included a basic metaphysics with the strongest of all possible onto-logical commitments. While it is necessary for us to pursue the mechanical study of nature because of our low status—as human knowers—in the order of being, a truly metaphysical explanation of the nature of things requires that mechanism be replaced by teleology, space/time and physical objects by spiritual substances, efficient causes by substantial forms (essences). In converting Leibniz’ DGM as a metaphysical programme to an epistemology, Kant deletes the preferred ontology, placing emphasis thereby on questions of what it is possible for us to know. To be sure, the Kantian epistemology is not ontologically neutral.


Pure Reason Empirical Theory Regulative Employment Hypothetical Reasoning Metaphysical Explanation 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Butts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of Western OntarioCanada

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