The historiographical narrative describing early modern European philosophy as the confrontation between rationalism and empiricism and its overcoming through the Kantian synthesis had a huge spread in Argentina. This article investigates the genesis of this traditional account in the universities of Córdoba, Buenos Aires and La Plata between 1780 and 1920. It offers an introduction concerning the formation of this narrative in Europe and a survey of the teaching of early modern philosophy in Argentina during that period. It concludes that, although some of its components are found during the nineteenth century, it was only in the second decade of the twentieth century that the traditional narrative was formulated in its entirety, in parallel with the introduction of Kantianism in Argentine. However, the construction of this narrative is not merely explained by this fact but also by the weight that the history of philosophy gained in the syllabus as part of the demands involved in the shaping of the academic philosophical field. Finally, this paper suggests ways to reconfigure and renew the canon.