Knowledge of necessity: Logical positivism and Kripkean essentialism

Philosophy 83 (2):179-191 (2008)
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By the lights of a central logical positivist thesis in modal epistemology, for every necessary truth that we know, we know it a priori and for every contingent truth that we know, we know it a posteriori. Kripke attacks on both flanks, arguing that we know necessary a posteriori truths and that we probably know contingent a priori truths. In a reflection of Kripke's confidence in his own arguments, the first of these Kripkean claims is far more widely accepted than the second. Contrary to received opinion, the paper argues, the considerations Kripke adduces concerning truths purported to be necessary a posteriori do not disprove the logical positivist thesis that necessary truth and a priori truth are co-extensive


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Stephen K. McLeod
University of Liverpool

Citations of this work

Rationalism and Modal Knowledge.Stephen K. McLeod - 2009 - Critica 41 (122):29-42.
Proper Names, Contingency A Priori and Necessity A Posteriori.Chen Bo - 2011 - History and Philosophy of Logic 32 (2):119 - 138.

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References found in this work

Identity and necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1971 - In Milton Karl Munitz (ed.), Identity and Individuation. New York: New York University Press. pp. 135-164.
Kripke on necessity a posteriori.Pavel Tichý - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 43 (2):225 - 241.
Are there necessary a posteriori truths?G. W. Fitch - 1976 - Philosophical Studies 30 (4):243 - 247.
Melia on modalism.Graeme Forbes - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (1):57 - 63.

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