Three principles of rationalism

European Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):375–397 (2002)
It is just over fifty years since the publication of Quine’s ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’. That paper expresses a broad vision of the system of relations between meaning, experience, and the rational formation of belief. The deepest challenges the paper poses come not from the detailed argument of its first four sections – formidable though that is – but from the visionary material in its last two sections.1 It is this visionary material that is likely to force the reader to revise, to deepen, or to rethink her position on fundamental issues about the relations between meaning, experience, rationality, and, above all, the a priori. Does what is right in Quine’s argument exclude any rationalist view of these relations? How should a rationalist view be formulated? Those are the questions I will be addressing. I start with the critical part of this task, a consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of Quine’s vision. Drawing on the constraints emerging from that critical discussion, I will then turn to the positive task of articulating and defending a rival conception. The rival conception can be described as a Generalized Rationalism
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DOI 10.1111/1468-0378.00167
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Lucy F. O'Brien (2003). Moran on Agency and Self-Knowledge. European Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):391-401.
Lucy O'Brien (2005). Self-Knowledge, Agency and Force. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):580-601.
Lucy F. O'Brien (2005). Self-Knowledge, Agency, and Force. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):580–601.
Guy Longworth (2008). Comprehending Speech. Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):339-373.

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