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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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The Supporting Arguments

The Supporting Arguments

(p.81) 4 The Supporting Arguments
A Priori Justification

Albert Casullo (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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