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Article

Преломления a priori во французской мысли: Эмиль Бутру и Элен Мецжер

The purpose of this article is to explore the repercussion of Kantian transcendental philosophy, especially his notion of apriori,  in the early French epistemological tradition. The reception of Kant in France was influenced by eclectic junction of Kant’s doctrine of categories as apriori conditions of objective knowledge with the Cartesian cogito that led to psychological interpretation of the origin of categories. Emile Boutroux (1845-1921) later developed the theory of scientific knowledge where the systematization of natural phenomena is guided by categories and dispositions of mixed nature (not merely apriori neither aposteriori). In Boutroux’s epistemology the mind and the external reality appear to be two active and opposing forces. The mind try to understand the reality by putting on it the mental categorical grid, but the reality acts as an independent force resisting rational organization. The resistance of reality offers the possibility of eventual transformation of previous mental schemes. This possibility of transformation of epistemological categories in history was further explored by French historian of science Hélène Metzger (1889-1944) in her works dedicated to the mental apriori.