Modal Rationalism

Dialectica 65 (1):103-115 (2011)
Hossack (2007) defends what he calls the rationalist thesis: the thesis that necessity reduces to (or at least always coincides with) a priori knowledge. In this paper I discuss some features of Hossack’s rationalist account of necessity. In the first half, I attempt to fill in a missing link in the rationalist thesis, connecting the notions of primitiveness of facts and a priori modes of presentation. In the second half, I complain that the strategy of dissolving counterexamples is not enough, and that a general principle connecting necessity and a prioricity is needed. I suggest further kinds of counterexamples that might arise, but rather than demand a response to each counterexample, I suggest that they highlight the need for a general argument for the rationalist thesis.
Keywords necessity  a priori
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2010.01251.x
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