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The Rules of Thought$
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Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa and Benjamin W. Jarvis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661800.001.0001

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A Priori Philosophy: Responses to Objections

A Priori Philosophy: Responses to Objections

Chapter:
(p.179) 7 A Priori Philosophy: Responses to Objections
Source:
The Rules of Thought
Author(s):

Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Benjamin W. Jarvis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661800.003.0008

This chapter addresses three worries about the a priori. The first is that there cannot be a priori philosophical knowledge because philosophical faculties must be authenticated a posteriori. This worry is quelled by appreciating the distinction between first-order knowledge and second-order knowledge of one's rational abilities. The second is that, to the extent that philosophical inquiry draws on the same rational abilities at work in a posteriori quotidian inquiry—including perceptual abilities to “peek”—the former cannot yield a priori knowledge. It is pointed out in response that apriority is not directly a matter of the kind of abilities exercised. The final worry concerns whether a priori knowledge is threatened by skeptical scenarios in which one is intellectually attracted to false propositions as if they were a priori truths; it is argued that these scenarios are not threatening, because apriority does not hinge on intellectual attraction.

Keywords:   a priori, a posteriori, peeking, philosophical inquiry, objections to the a priori

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