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A Priori Justification$
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Albert Casullo

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195115055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195115058.001.0001

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Two Conceptions of A Priori Justification

Two Conceptions of A Priori Justification

(p.33) 2 Two Conceptions of A Priori Justification
A Priori Justification

Albert Casullo (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines two conceptions of a priori justification: (AP1) S’s belief that p is justified a priori if and only if S’s belief that p is nonexperientially justified; and (AP2) S’s belief that p is justified a priori if and only if S’s belief that p is nonexperientially justified and cannot be defeated by experience. Two criteria are introduced to evaluate them: continuity with historical precedent, and coherence with generally accepted concepts and principles in the theory of knowledge. It is argued that although historical precedent does not favor either analysis, several theoretical considerations favor (AP1) over (AP2). (AP1) coheres better with the standard treatment of related epistemic concepts, highlights the central epistemic question raised by the theory of a priori knowledge, and satisfies a plausible criterion of adequacy regarding a priori justification; it leaves open the possibility of empirical knowledge of propositions knowable a priori.

Keywords:   a priori, criterion of adequacy, defeated, experience, justified, historical precedent, nonexperientially, theoretical

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