Immanuel Kant

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Kant is a deontological philosopher; that is, in examining morality he says that the ends must not be looked at, only the means. Kant began by carefully drawing a pair of crucial distinctions among the judgments we do actually make. The first distinction separates a priori from a posteriori judgments by reference to the origin of our knowledge of them. A priori judgments are statements for which there is no appeal to experience in order to dertermine what is true and false. A posteriori judgments, on the other hand, are statements in which experience determines how we discover the truth or falsity of the statement. Thus, this distinction also marks the difference traditionally noted in logic between necessary and contingent truths.
But Kant also made a less familiar distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments, according to the information conveyed as their content. Analytic judgments are those whose predicates are entirely contained in their subjects; since they add nothing to our concept of the subject, such judgments are purely explicative and can be deduced from the principle of non-contradiction. Synthetic judgments, on the other hand, are those whose predicates are altogether distinct from their subjects, to which they must be shown to relate because of some real connection external to the concepts themselves. Hence, synthetic judgments are genuinely informative but require justification by reference to some outside principle.
In the opening pages of Kant’s Gro...

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