Chapter

Revisability, Reliabilism, and a Priori Knowledge

Albert Casullo

in Essays on a Priori Knowledge and Justification

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199777860
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933525 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777860.003.0003
Revisability, Reliabilism, and a Priori Knowledge

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Hilary Putnam argues against the existence of a priori knowledge by analyzing the concept of a statement known a priori as one that is rationally unrevisable and arguing that no statements are rationally unrevisable. Philip Kitcher extends the argument by incorporating it within the more general framework of reliabilism. This paper focuses on the Putnam-Kitcher argument and divides into two parts. The first part examines the thesis that a priori knowledge entails rational unrevisability independently of any general account of knowledge. Two versions of the unrevisability thesis are distinguished, and both are rejected. The second part examines Kitcher's attempt to incorporate the unrevisability thesis within the more general framework of reliabilism. It is argued that reliabilism does not support the thesis that a priori knowledge entails rational unrevisability and that reliabilism does not offer much promise of providing an informative characterization of the concept of a priori knowledge

Keywords: revisable; unrevisability; reliabilism; a priori; Putnam; Kitcher

Chapter.  11925 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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