chapter
Introduction: The Origin of the Coordinates
Pages 22

The philosophical tradition of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) had an almost palpable presence in Königsberg. Every year on Kant’s birthday, the crypt next to the Königsberg cathedral was opened and fresh wreaths of laurel placed on his bust. Kant was concerned with how we know things and had argued that our knowledge of certain mathematical truths was a priori, there from the beginning, not learned from experience. He argued that the basic concepts of arithmetic were a priori, as were the basic concepts of geometry.