Analytic, Contradictory, Synthetic Statements
Some statements are true or false in virtue of the meaning of the words. The true
statements are called
, the false ones
(86) Bachelors are unmarried males. (analytic)
(87) 2 = 1 (contradictory)
(88) All bodies are extended.
Other statements are
. To determine if they are true or false something other than
the content of the statement is required.
(89) This building is 41m.
Knowing the meaning of words, which building, etc. is not enough. We have to measure.
The distinction between analytic and synthetic statements was first made clear by
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804).
“…whatever be their origin or logical form, there is a distinction in judgments, as to their
content, according to which they are either merely
, adding nothing to the
content of the cognition, or
, increasing the given cognition: the former may be
, the latter
Analytic judgments express nothing in the predicate but what has been already
actually thought in the concept of the subject, though not so clearly and with the same
consciousness. If I say: “All bodies are extended,” I have not amplified in the least my
concept of body, but have only analyzed it, as extension was really thought to belong to
that concept before the judgment was made, though it was not expressed; this judgment is
therefore analytic. On the other hand, this judgment, “Some bodies have weight,”
contains in its predicate something not actually thought in the universal concept of body;
it amplifies my knowledge by adding something to my concept, and must therefore be
called synthetic.” Kant 1783
, 266-7, trans 1977, p.12).