David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 176 (3):429-445 (2010)
In the 1960s and 1970s, Hilary Putnam articulated a notion of relativized apriority that was motivated to address the problem of scientific change. This paper examines Putnam’s account in its historical context and in relation to contemporary views. I begin by locating Putnam’s analysis in the historical context of Quine’s rejection of apriority, presenting Putnam as a sympathetic commentator on Quine. Subsequently, I explicate Putnam’s positive account of apriority, focusing on his analysis of the history of physics and geometry. In the remainder of the paper, I explore connections between Putnam’s account of relativized a priori principles and contemporary views. In particular, I situate Putnam’s account in relation to analyses advanced by Michael Friedman, David Stump, and William Wimsatt. From this comparison, I address issues concerning whether a priori scientific principles are appropriately characterized as “constitutive” or “entrenched”. I argue that these two features need to be clearly distinguished, and that only the constitutive function is essential to apriority. By way of conclusion, I explore the relationship between the constitutive function of a priori principles and entrenchment.
|Keywords||Hilary Putnam W. V. Quine Michael Friedman William Wimsatt Relativized a priori Scientific Change Apriority History of Physics Entrenchment|
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996/2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
Wesley Salmon (1984). Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. Princeton University Press.
Willard V. O. Quine (1951). Two Dogmas of Empiricism. Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Michael Friedman (2001). Dynamics of Reason: The 1999 Kant Lectures at Stanford University. Csli Publications.
Michael Friedman (1999). Reconsidering Logical Positivism. Cambridge University Press.
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