On explaining knowledge of necessity

Dialectica 58 (1):71–87 (2004)
Moderate rationalists maintain that our rational intuitions provide us with prima facie justification for believing various necessary propositions. Such a claim is often criticized on the grounds that our having reliable rational intuitions about domains in which the truths are necessary is inexplicable in some epistemically objectionable sense. In this paper, I defend moderate rationalism against such criticism. I argue that if the reliability of our rational intuitions is taken to be contingent, then there is no reason to think that our reliability is inexplicable. I also suggest that our reliability is, in fact, necessary, and that such necessary reliability neither admits of, nor requires, any explanation of the envisaged sort.
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