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The Poverty of Conceptual Truth – Kant's Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and the Limits of Metaphysics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Poverty of Conceptual Truth: Kant's Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and the Limits of Metaphysics

R. Lanier Anderson


Kant’s distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments underwrites a powerful argument against Leibnizian–Wolffian metaphysics. That traditional metaphysics promised to reveal the rational structure of the world by representing all truth as conceptual, flowing from logically perspicuous “containment” relations among concepts. Such a system would be analytic, sensu Kant. But Kant shows that scientifically indispensable parts of our knowledge (including mathematics, the foundations of natural science, empirical knowledge, and the principles of metaphysics itself) are essentially synthetic a ... More

Keywords: analytic, concept containment, expressive power, Kant’s philosophy of mathematics, Leibnizian–Wolffian, logical division, metaphysics, real/logical distinction, synthetic, traditional logic

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198724575
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724575.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

R. Lanier Anderson, author
Stanford University

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