Defending Conventions as Functionally a Priori Knowledge

Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1149-1160 (2003)
Abstract
Recent defenses of a priori knowledge can be applied to the idea of conventions in science in order to indicate one important sense in which conventionalism is correct-some elements of physical theory have a unique epistemological status as a constitutive part of our physical theory. I will argue that the former a priori should be treated as empirical in a very abstract sense, but still conventional. Though actually coming closer to the Quinean position than the standard treatments of conventionalism, the picture of knowledge developed here is very different from that developed in Quinean holism in that categories of knowledge can be differentiated.
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