By Professor Henry E. Allison
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Extra resources for The Kant - Eberhard Controversy: An English Translation together with Supplementary Materials and a Historical-Analytic Introduction of Immanuel Kant's ... Has Been Made Superfluous by an Earlier One
In so doing he assumes that the Kantian theory is t o be construed as a challenge t o the Leibnizian claim that in every true proposition the predicate is contained in the concept of the subject. By such a procedure he arrives at and presents, albeit in a far more sophisticated fashion, many of the same objections which were raised against the distinction by MaaB and Eberhard. He therefore comes to the conclusion that, in terms of this "explicit theory" of predication, there is no real basis for denying that allegedly synthetic a priori judgments are "covertly analytic,"40 a thesis which is really equivalent t o the claim that they can be handled in the Leibnizian fashion suggested by Eberhard.
But in transcendental logic, it is the most important of all questions; and indeed, if in treating of the possibility of synthetic a priori judgments we also take account of the conditions and scope of their validity, it is the only question with which it is c o n ~ e r n e d . ~ Despite this explicit statement, however, Kant's overall approach to this distinction seems t o be far from consistent. , A154lB193. 'O~ostclearly in the Progress o f Metaphysics, AK, Vol. X X , p. 322. Cf. Vleeschauwer, Diduction Transcendentale, p.
In Kant's own example, "every alteration has a cause," the emphasis is placed on the fact that alteration is an empirical concept. As the argument of the Second Analogy shows, however, the a priori character of the proposition is based on the a priori character of the predicate concept (causality). The problem thus concerns the necessary relation between the concept (causality) and the feature of the empirical world to which the subject expression (alteration) refers. This, however, suggests that the problem of explaining the possibility of synthetic judgments a priori is identical with the problem of explaining how our a priori concepts can relate to objects or have objective validity.