Philosophical Studies

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 91–108

Comments on Wayne Martin, Theories of Judgment


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-007-9162-4

Cite this article as:
Anderson, R.L. Philos Stud (2008) 137: 91. doi:10.1007/s11098-007-9162-4


Martin offers an intriguing account of nineteenth century challenges to the traditional theory of judgment as a synthesis of subject and predicate (the synthesis theory)—criticisms motivated largely by the problem posed by existential judgments, which need not have two terms at all. Such judgments led to a theory of “thetic” judgments, whose essential feature is to “posit” something, rather than to combine terms (as in synthetic judgment). I argue, however, that Kant’s official definition of judgment already implicitly recognizes the importance of positing, and that its (otherwise confusing) abstract generality actually affords Kant’s own logic an adequate way to accommodate existential judgments within the traditional synthesis theory. Preservation of a synthetic account of judgment is also found to be independently important for Kant’s larger aims in the theory of cognition.


Judgment Kant Existential judgment Real positing Synthesis Traditional logic 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations