Theoria 84 (2):157-178 (2018)

Mark McEvoy
Hofstra University
In this article, I present a novel account of a priori warrant, which I then use to examine the relationship between a priori and a posteriori warrant in mathematics. According to this account of a priori warrant, the reason that a posteriori warrant is subordinate to a priori warrant in mathematics is because processes that produce a priori warrant are reliable independent of the contexts in which they are used, whereas this is not true for processes that produce a posteriori warrant. Following this, I show how this difference explains why a priori warranting processes, such as proof (and mathematical intuition) can, and a posteriori warranting processes cannot, definitively establish mathematical results. I then show why, in the event of a conflict between a priori and a posteriori warranting processes, the former undermine, and cannot be undermined by, the latter. Finally, I explain the connection between apriority and mathematical necessity, but do so in a way that allows for the existence of contingent a priori knowledge.
Keywords Benacerraf problem  apriority  empirical warrant  mathematical knowledge  necessity  proof
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/theo.12145
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,410
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
Mathematical Truth.Paul Benacerraf - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Content Preservation.Tyler Burge - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (4):457-488.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kitcher, Mathematics, and Apriority.Jeffrey Roland - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (3):687-702.
Does The Necessity of Mathematical Truths Imply Their Apriority?Mark McEvoy - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):431-445.
Necessity and Apriority.Gordon Prescott Barnes - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (3):495-523.
Linking Necessity to Apriority.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (1):1-7.
Uma Solução para o Problema de Benacerraf.Eduardo Castro - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (1):7-28.
Externalism, Architecturalism, and Epistemic Warrant.Martin Davies - 1998 - In Crispin Wright, Barry C. Smith & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Knowing Our Own Minds. Oxford University Press. pp. 321-363.
Mathematical Proofs.Marco Panza - 2003 - Synthese 134 (1-2):119 - 158.
Testimony and Computer Proof.Kai-yee Wong - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 53:317-323.
Empirical Concepts and A Priori Truth.Nenad Miščević - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):289-315.
The Role of Necessity in Empirical Knowledge.Jennifer Ruth Nagel - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Warrant is Unique.Andrew M. Bailey - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):297-304.


Added to PP index

Total views
25 ( #458,272 of 2,519,861 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,012 of 2,519,861 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes