# Kant Final

Powerful Essays
Christopher Rowley
Modern Final on Kant

1. For Kant, it is of the greatest importance that one distinguishes a priori from a posteriori judgments, as well as synthetic from analytic judgments. A priori judgments involve absolute necessity and strict universality, i.e. they are valid without variation for all cognizant beings. A posteriori judgments, on the other hand, are empirical and as such are necessarily synthetic. In the case of synthetic claims, the predicate is not contained in the subject, and are therefore ampliative and augment our knowledge. For example, the claim “All bodies have weight” is synthetic a posteriori because the concept of weight is not contained within the concept of body. Analytic claims, on the other hand, are such that the predicate is contained in the subject. Such claims may be called “classifying”; for instance, “all triangles have 3 sides” is an a priori analytic claim, because the concept of “having 3 sides” is contained within the subject of triangle. I am not building upon my knowledge of triangles when I consider such a statement. Analytic judgments are shown to be true directly through the principle of non-contradiction. All a posteriori judgments are synthetic, since it would not make sense to base analytic judgments on our experiences, since their truth value is determined by the meaning or classification of the terms. However, a priori claims may be either synthetic or analytic. An example of a synthetic a priori judgment is any mathematical equation, e.g. “7+5=12.” Though this is not readily obvious, since many believe such judgments to be analytic and that their validity is determined by the law of non-contradiction. Kant, however, shows us that such claims are in fact synthetic, because it is not a part of the concept of the summation of 7 and 5 to equal the distinct number 12. Only when we put instances of 7 and 5 together, paired with our intuition, will we discover that 12 is in fact their

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