Kant's Manner of Asking About the Thing

when an equal force affects it. In his Discorsi, which appeared in 1638, Galileo said: "I think of a body thrown on a horizontal plane and every obstacle excluded. This result in what has been given a detailed account in another place, that the motion of the body over this plane would be uniform and perpetual if this place were extended infinitely."

In this proposition, which may be considered the antecedent of the First Law of Newton, what we have been looking for is clearly expressed. Galileo says: "I think in my mind of something movable that is entirely left to itself." This "to think in the mind" (Sich-im-Geiste-denken) is that giving-oneself-a-cognition (Sich-selbst-eine-Kenntnis geben) about a determination of things. It is a procedure of going ahead in advance, which Plato once characterized regarding μάβησις in the following way: - άναλαβών αὐτὸς έξ αυτού την έαιστήμην (Meno 85d), "bringing up and taking up--above and beyond the other--taking the knowledge itself from out of himself.")

There is a prior grasping together in this mente concipere of what should be uniformly determinative of each body as such, i.e., for being bodily. All bodies are alike. No motion is special. Every place is like every other, each moment like any other. Every force becomes determinable only by the change of motion which it causes--this change in motion being understood as a change of place. All determinations of bodies have one basic blueprint (Grundriss), according to which the natural process is nothing but the space-time determination of the motion of points of mass. This fundamental design of nature at the same time circumscribes its realm as everywhere uniform.

Now if we summarize at a glance all that has been said,