David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 40 (2):227 - 242 (1994)
The thesis that the necessary and the a priori are extensionally equivalent consists of two independent claims: 1) All a priori truths are necessary and 2) all necessary truths are a priori. In Naming and Necessity1 Saul A. Kripke gives examples of necessary but a posteriori truths, so he disagrees with the second leg of the thesis.2 His examples are of two types; on the one hand statements involving essential properties and on the other hand true identity statements. My concern will be with examples of the second type and whether they refute (2). (2), however, is ambiguous and can mean one of three things: a) If p is a necessary truth, then one can know a priori that p is necessary. b) If p is a necessary truth, then one can know a priori that p. c) If p is a necessary truth, then one can know a priori that p and that p is necessary. Kripke maintains that we know a priori that if an identity statement is true, then it is necessarily true. Consequently, the issue at hand is how we come to know the truth of such identity statements, so it is clearly (b) that we should be concerned with.3 In order to refute (b), and thus (2), we apparently need to show that..
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