Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

This paper calls into question the traditional interpretation that logic is, according to Kant, analytic. On the basis of a reconstruction of the salient features of both Kant’s theory of analyticity and conception of pure general logic, it is shown that Kant does not apply the analytic-synthetic distinction to logical judgments at all. Moreover, applying Kant’s definitions beyond his reasons for leaving the matter unsolved leads to the result that many logical judgments are neither analytic nor synthetic.

In his Wissenschaftslehre, Bolzano writes: “Concerning logic, K.[ant] claimed that it (i.e., pure, general logic) consisted of nothing but analytic judgments” and adds “I cannot agree with this finding: rather, it seems to me that logic contains a considerable number of synthetic propositions” (Bolzano 2014, §315, vol. III: 161-62). The latter claim results from his criticism of Kant’s notion of analysis together with his conception about the nature of logic. On the contrary, the idea that logic, according to Kant, is analytic is something that is taken for granted and Bolzano does not justify this assumption.

A similar position is taken by Frege. His work is devoted to the program of reducing arithmetic to logic, which amounts to showing, against Kant, that arithmetic is…


  Click here to download full article