Chapter

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/9780199777860.003.0006
A Priori Knowledge

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Kant posed four questions regarding a priori knowledge: (1) What is a priori knowledge? (2) Is there a priori knowledge? (3) What is the relationship between the a priori and the necessary? (4) Is there synthetic a priori knowledge? The focus of this essay is on the second. Since one cannot determine whether a priori knowledge exists without knowing what such knowledge is, I begin by providing an analysis of the concept a priori knowledge. I utilize that analysis to show that the traditional arguments both for and against the a priori are not convincing. I conclude by offering an alternative strategy for defending the existence of a priori knowledge. Although the questions about the relationship between the a priori and the nonepistemic concepts of necessity and analyticity are not my primary targets, I address them insofar as they are relevant to analyzing the concept of a priori knowledge or to determining whether such knowledge exists.

Keywords: a priori; knowledge; justification; synthetic; necessary; analytic

Chapter.  21319 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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