Science, commonsense and philosophy: A defense of continuity (a critique of "network apriorism")

A popular line in philosophy championed by Jackson and his followers analyses concepts as networks of propositions. It takes even network-propositions characterizing ordinary empirically applicable concepts to be a priori, in contrast to statements of empirical science. This is meant to guarantee both the autonomy of conceptual analysis, and its substantial and informative character. It is argued here, to the contrary, that empirically applicable and entrenched concepts owe the acceptability of their own network precisely to its empirical pedigree. Promoting an empirical proposition into a network proposition does not make it ultimately a priori: no matter how entrenched the network is, it owes its ultimate justification to its empirical pedigree. Autonomy from experience and informativeness clash with each other: the stipulative "knowledge" is a priori in a weak sense, but not informative and substantial, the factual knowledge is substantial but not a priori.
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DOI 10.1080/02698590020029288
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