The Supporting Arguments

Albert Casullo

in A Priori Justification

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780195115055
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786190 | DOI:
 The Supporting Arguments

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The leading arguments supporting the existence of a priori knowledge fall into three broad categories: conceptual arguments, which offer an analysis of the concept of a priori knowledge and maintain that some knowledge satisfies the conditions in the analysis; criterial arguments, which identify criteria of the a priori, such as necessity, certainty, and irrefutability, and maintain that some knowledge satisfies the criteria; and deficiency arguments, which allege that radical empiricist theories of knowledge are deficient in some respect, and that the only remedy for the deficiency is to embrace the a priori. This chapter contends that these arguments fail: the conceptual arguments involve implausible conceptions of a priori knowledge; the criterial arguments involve false epistemic premises; and the deficiency arguments fail because theories endorsing the a priori suffer from the same deficiencies alleged to plague radical empiricism.

Keywords: a priori; certainty; conceptual argument; criterial argument; deficiency argument; irrefutability; necessity; radical empiricism; radical empiricist

Chapter.  14262 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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