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The A Priori in Philosophy$
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Albert Casullo and Joshua C. Thurow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695331.001.0001

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Experimental Philosophy and Apriority

Experimental Philosophy and Apriority

Chapter:
(p.45) 2 Experimental Philosophy and Apriority
Source:
The A Priori in Philosophy
Author(s):

Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695331.003.0003

One of the more visible recent developments in philosophical methodology is the ‘experimental philosophy’ movement. On its surface, the experimentalist challenge looks like a dramatic threat to the apriority of philosophy; ‘experimental’ is nigh on antonymic with ‘aprioristic.’ This appearance, I suggest, is misleading; the experimentalist critique is entirely unrelated to questions about the apriority of philosophical investigation. There are many reasons to resist the skeptical conclusions of negative experimental philosophers, but even if they are granted—even if the experimentalists are right to claim that we must do much more careful laboratory work in order legitimately to be confident in our philosophical judgments—the apriority of philosophy is unimpugned. The kinds of scientific investigation that experimental philosophers argue to be necessary involve merely enabling sensory experiences in a sense to be articulated; although they are not enabling in the sense of permitting concept acquisition, they are enabling in another epistemically significant way that is also consistent with the apriority of philosophy.

Keywords:   a priori, experimental philosophy, epistemology of the a priori, philosophical methodology

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