Metaphysical motives of kant's analytic-synthetic distinction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The paper identifies metaphysical motives underwriting Kant's analytic-synthetic distinction. Kant denies the reducibility of his synthetic to analytic judgments by conceptual analysis. Leibniz upholds general reducibility, presenting the Principle of Sufficient Reason as its instrument. I argue that Kant's irreducibility doctrine involves a threefold metaphysical critique of Leibniz's PSR. First, this principle is described as incompatible with the metaphysics of experience. Second, Kant claims it is incompatible with the metaphysical contingency of free agency. I find here a crucial and neglected motivation underpinning Kant's doctrine of synthetic causal judgment. Finally, Leibniz's principle supposedly entails an untenable metaphysics of divine necessity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-307
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of the History of Philosophy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'Metaphysical motives of kant's analytic-synthetic distinction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this