Kant was wrong?

Very early in the day, Rix and I talked about the future of stellar spectroscopy. With The Cannon we have shown that detailed abundances can be measured in lower signal-to-noise and lower resolution data than anyone imagined. Now we have to make this case in such a way that we influence future projects!

Late in the day, Juna Kollmeier (OCIW) gave a talk at the Simons Foundation. She gave a wide-ranging talk, about gravity from large scales to black holes. The questions were all about Einstein! She said some provocative things, for example: She said that Immanuel Kant was wrong about physics, which surprised me! I am going to look up the quotation she gave; my guess is that he was talking about materialism, not physics, and therefore was not wrong. But I will find out. I am a huge fan of Kant (in university I painted his face on the back of my leather jacket). She showed cave paintings of the sky, and it made me wonder if the time baseline trumps the precision for measuring proper motions? Probably not, but I bet there's a literature. She showed that Slipher was the first astronomer to get good evidence for a black hole. And etc.

1 comment:

  1. What is the exact claim here by Kollmeier? I recall reading that Riemann had difficulty introducing non-Euclidean geometry based upon an *understanding* of Kant's writings that existed in the 19th Century German academia. Because of this, I have also run into the claim that Kant was "wrong on physics", or held back the field, etc.