a1 University of Western Ontario
At the beginning of the third Section of the Groundwork, Kant appears to state the synthetic a priori proposition which it is the business of that Section to justify. It is: “An absolutely good will is one whose maxim can always have as its content itself considered as a universal law.” I shall contend that a consideration of Kant's use of analytic method shows that he is committed to regard this proposition not as synthetic, but rather as analytic. Hence, I shall contend that his statement of the proposition to be justified in the third Section is a slip, which hinders the study of the third Section and which, therefore, requires a textual emendation. Kant, I claim, does not attempt to justify this proposition but another.