David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In P. Hanson & B. Hunter (eds.), Return of the a Priori. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 18 (1992)
Reinach holds that there are certain categories of entity whose factual instantiation brings with it as a matter of necessity the instantiation of certain other correlated categories. The instantiation of the category colour necessitates in this fashion the instantiation of the category visual extension. Such categories are to be understood, from Reinach's point of view, after the fashion of Plato's intelligible forms. Thus they constitute an autonomous, natural order that is not capable of being invented or constructed through acts of man; they are such that actual things and events may serve to instantiate them more or less completely or perfectly; and they are such that we enjoy in relation to them (and therefore also in relation to their instances) a special sort of non-inductive knowledge. More consistently than Plato, however, Reinach acknowledges the existence of systems of relations through which the given categories are tied together into larger wholes. Such categories are then intrinsically intelligible precisely as nodes in this system of relations of the given sort, in the sense that anyone who has experience (including imaginative experience) of relevant instances of these categories is implicitly aware also of a corresponding family of relations. It is such intrinsic intelligibility of the basic structures and interrelations of shape and motion, colour and sound, for example, which makes it possible for us to learn language and to acquire those sorts of a posteriori knowledge on which empirical science is based.
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