Transmission of warrant-failure and the notion of epistemic analyticity

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):505 – 521 (2005)
In this paper I will argue that Boghossian's explanation of how we can acquire a priori knowledge of logical principles through implicit definitions commits a transmission of warrant-failure. To this end, I will briefly outline Boghossian's account, followed by an explanation of what a transmission of warrant-failure consists in. I will also show that this charge is independent of the worry of rule-circularity which has been raised concerning the justification of logical principles and of which Boghossian is fully aware. My argument comes in two steps: firstly, I will argue for the insufficiency of Boghossian's template which is meant to explain how a subject can acquire a warrant for logical principles. I will show however that this insufficiency of his template can be remedied by adopting what I call the Disquotational Step. Secondly, I will argue that incorporating this further step makes his template subject to a transmission of warrant-failure, assuming that certain rather basic and individually motivated principles hold. Thus, Boghossian's account faces a dilemma: either he adopts the Disquotational Step and subjects his account to the charge of a transmission of warrant-failure, or he drops this additional step leaving the account confronted with explaining the gap that has previously been highlighted. I will then suggest various rejoinders that Boghossian might adopt but none of which - I will argue - can resolve the dilemma. Lastly, I will raise and briefly discuss the question whether this worry generalizes to other accounts, such as Hale and Wright's that aim to explain our knowledge of logic and/or mathematics in virtue of implicit definitions.
Keywords epistemic   analyticity   implicit definitions   knowledge   a priori   Journal Article
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DOI 10.1080/00048400500338724
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References found in this work BETA
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
In Defense of Pure Reason.Laurence BonJour - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
Being Known.Christopher Peacocke - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Operators.Fred I. Dretske - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (24):1007-1023.
(Anti-)Sceptics Simple and Subtle: G. E. Moore and John McDowell.Crispin Wright - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):330-348.

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Citations of this work BETA
Bad Company and Neo-Fregean Philosophy.Matti Eklund - 2009 - Synthese 170 (3):393-414.
Implicit Definition and the Application of Logic.Thomas Kroedel - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):131-148.

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McKinsey One More Time.Crispin Wright - 2008 - In Anthony E. Hatzimoysis (ed.), Self-Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
When Transmission Fails.Chris Tucker - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (4):497-529.
Analyticity and Implicit Definition.Kathrin Glüer - 2003 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 66 (1):37-60.
On Epistemic Entitlement.Crispin Wright & Martin Davies - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78:167-245.

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