Method, Science, and Mathematics: Neo-Kantianism and Early Analytic Philosophy

Call for submissions to a special issue of the 
Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy

A widely held view is that the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s revolutions in logic, mathematics, and physics decisively overturned the Kantian theory of knowledge and provided the most significant intellectual motivations for early analytic philosophy. But neo-Kantian philosophers at the time defended philosophical positions in response to early analytic philosophy and the revolutionary developments that inspired it. Some neo-Kantians were partly responsible for those developments in mathematics and physics, while others took the developments on board and defended versions of Kantian philosophy that were consistent with them.

The issue focuses on the work and influence of Hermann von Helmholtz and Ernst Cassirer. Helmholtz’s engagement with the analytic tradition turns on his thought concerning the foundations of geometry, including his theory of measurement, and the place of those views in his general theory of knowledge. Cassirer’s views on the significance of the logic of relations, his response to Bertrand Russell’s criticism of his very early philosophy of mathematics, and his affinities with structuralist theories of mathematics such as Richard Dedekind’s demonstrate his enduring engagement with questions central to analytic philosophy. Authors may also take inspiration from the work of Helmholtz and Cassirer to conceive of contemporary neo-Kantian projects, especially in the philosophy of science and of mathematics, and in related areas in epistemology. The proposed volume will emphasize the ongoing intellectual exchange between the neo-Kantian and analytic traditions.

We intend to publish selected papers in a special issue of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (, an open access venue that aims to promote research in and provide a forum for discussion of the history of analytic philosophy.

Papers should be submitted to Scott Edgar ( and Lydia Patton (

Key deadlines/dates:

  • Initial submission deadline (2500-4000 words): July 31, 2016
  • Review notification: October 15, 2016
  • Revised submission due: December 31, 2016