Kant was trying to provide a justification for the application of the principle of sufficient reason to objects of experience. He believed that no one had ever provided any kind of justification for the principle. Leibniz and his followers had failed because they considered the principle in its full generality, as applying to things in themselves. Wolff in particular had tried to show that it follows from the principle of contradiction, and Kant believed that the proof must fail, with the consequence that the principle is synthetic rather than analytic. Hume had accepted the synthetic character of the principle and proved that it cannot be justified a posteriori . Most notably, Hume recognized that through experience we can never detect the necessary connection which is implicit in the concept of a cause. (For an exposition of Hume's views, see the entry on Hume as one of Kant's predecessors.) The only remaining avenue to justification of this synthetic principle, Kant concluded, is a priori
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