In The Semantic Tradition, Coffa says the following about neo-Kantianism that was too good to pass up. It comes just after a discussion of Helmholtz’s criticisms of Kant’s views on geometry:

When the Germans began to recover from idealism, the first that occurred to them was to go back to Kant and start over again, trying to get it right this time. ‘Neo-Kantianism’ is the blanket name for a variety of movements that had little more in common than a distrust of the post-Kantians who preceded them and the belief that what Kant meant (but didn’t quite manage to say) was profound and true.

Coffa goes on to say that, in this broad sense, Helmholtz initiated a neo-Kantian movement. Coffa has such a way with words.

Advertisements