David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ratio 22 (2):191-205 (2009)
Kant famously argued that, from experience, we can only learn how something actually is, but not that it must be so. In this paper, I defend an improved version of Kant's argument for the existence of a priori knowledge, the Modal Argument , against recent objections by Casullo and Kitcher. For the sake of the argument, I concede Casullo's claim that we may know certain counterfactuals in an empirical way and thereby gain epistemic access to some nearby, nomologically possible worlds. But I maintain that our beliefs about metaphysical necessities still cannot be justified empirically. Furthermore, I reject Casullo's deflationary thesis about the significance of such justification. Kitcher's most troublesome objection is that we can gain any modal justification whatsoever through testimony , i.e. in an experiential way. This can be countered by distinguishing between productive sources of justification, like perception, and merely reproductive sources, like testimony. Thus, some productive a priori source will always be needed somewhere.
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References found in this work BETA
Saul A. Kripke (1980). Naming and Necessity. Harvard University Press.
Immanuel Kant (2007). Critique of Pure Reason. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell Pub. Ltd. 449-451.
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.
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Timothy Williamson (2005). I *-Armchair Philosophy, Metaphysical Modality and Counterfactual Thinking. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (1):1-23.
Citations of this work BETA
Tuomas E. Tahko (2011). A Priori and A Posteriori: A Bootstrapping Relationship. Metaphysica 12 (2):151-164.
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