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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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On the Armchair Justification of Conceptually Grounded Necessary Truths

On the Armchair Justification of Conceptually Grounded Necessary Truths

Chapter:
(p.110) (p.111) 5 On the Armchair Justification of Conceptually Grounded Necessary Truths
Source:
The A Priori in Philosophy
Author(s):

David Henderson

Terry Horgan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695331.003.0006

Armchair reflection commonly provides a low-grade a priori form of justification for certain claims which, if true at all, are necessarily true and are rendered necessarily true solely by virtue of their constituent concepts, independently of any contingent facts about our actual world. The justification afforded is aptly understood as a priori, yet of a low-grade sort that has an ineliminable empirical dimension. The conceptual competence that folk possess for the non-deferential application of concepts features prominently, as does the general capacity for abductive inference. Armchair methodology in linguistics provides a useful model for armchair philosophical reasoning. We argue for two somewhat surprising hypotheses: first, metaphysically necessary truths that are semantically non-analytic and epistemologically a posteriori are underwritten by yet-more-fundamental necessary truths that are analytic; and second, it is a conceptually grounded necessary truth that some statements expressing epistemic possibilities do not express metaphysical possibilities.

Keywords:   epistemology, a priori, justification, metaphysical necessity, concepts, epistemic possibility, analyticity

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