The philosophical limits of scientific essentialism

Philosophical Perspectives 1:289-365 (1987)
Abstract
Scientific essentialism is the view that some necessities (e.g., water = H2O) can be known only with the aid of empirical science. The thesis of the paper is that scientific essentialism does not extend to the central questions of philosophy and that these questions can be answered a priori. The argument is that the evidence required for the defense of scientific essentialism (e.g., twin earth intuitions) is reliable only if the intuitions required by philosophy to answer its central questions is also reliable. Included is an outline of a modal reliabilist theory of basic evidence and a concept-possession account of the reliability of a priori intuition.
Keywords A Priori  Autonomy  Concept  Empiricism  Essentialism  Evidence  Intuition  Knowledge  Science  Kripke, S  Twin Earth
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    Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis (2003). Concepts and Conceptual Analysis. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):253-282.
    Justin Sytsma (2010). The Proper Province of Philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):427-445.
    Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2009). How Scientific is Scientific Essentialism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (1):85 - 101.

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