I understand well what are synthetic a priori jugements and what are maths / sciences synthetic a priori jugements. But I want to know examples of philosophical (metaphysical) synthetic a priori jugements. It seems Kant never says it explicitly ?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


The philosopher that coinded the concept of " a priori synthetic judgment" , that is, Kant, held the thesis that metaphysics proper does not contain such judgments.

According to Kant, there is no substantive possible knowledge regarding (1) the Soul ( the alledged thinking substance) (2) the World (3) or God.

But, with a more modest meaning of " metaphysics" one can talk about metaphysical a priori synthetic judgments.

Metaphysics, in the critical sense, is the theory that deals with the possibility conditions of experience. These conditions are a priori and are expressed in the " principles of pure understanding". The principle of these principles is that " the possibility conditions of experience are also the possibility conditions of the objects of experience".

You will find them in the Critique of Pure Reason :

(1) axioms of intuition

(2) anticipations of perception

(3) analogies of experience ( for example, the causality principle)

(4) postulates of empirical thought in general

  • 1
    Thank you for your explanation. But even "Pure reason does not have any synthetic a priori judgment" itself is not a synthetic a priori judgment ?
    – hawarden_
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 22:12

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