Kant’s Conception of Analytic Judgment

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):588–612 (2005)
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In the 'Critique of Pure Reason' Kant appears to characterize analytic judgments in four distinct ways: once in terms of “containment,” a second time in terms of “identity,” a third time in terms of the explicative–ampliative contrast, and a fourth time in terms of the notion of “cognizability in accordance with the principle of contradiction.” The paper asks: Which of these characterizations—or apparent characterizations—best captures Kant’s conception of analyticity in the first Critique? It suggests: “the second.” It argues, further, that Kant’s distinction is intended to apply only to judgments of subject–predicate form, and that the fourth alleged characterization is not properly speaking a characterization at all. These theses are defended in the course of a more general investigation of the distinction’s meaning, its epistemology, and its tenability.

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Ian Proops
University of Texas at Austin


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