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This paper traces the ancestry of a familiar historiographical narrative, according to which early modern philosophy was marked by the development of empiricism, rationalism, and their synthesis by Kant. It is often claimed that this narrative became standard in the nineteenth century because of the influence of Thomas Reid, Kant and his disciples, or German and British idealists. I argue that the narrative became standard at the turn of the twentieth century. Among the factors that allowed it to become standard are its aptness to be adopted by philosophers of the most diverse persuasions, its simplicity and suitability for teaching.