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On the Relationship between A Priori and Necessary Statements

  • Albert Casullo (a1)


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1 Erwin, Edward, “Are the Notions ‘A Priori Truth’ and ‘Necessary Truth’ Extensionally Equivalent?” Canadian journal of Philosophy 3 (1974), pp. 591602.

2 I shall not consider here Saul Kripke's well known objections to both parts of the E.E.H. They are discussed in my “Kripke on the A Priori and the Necessary,” Analysis 37 (1977), pp. 152-59.

3 Erwin, p. 594.

4 Roderick M. Chisholm offers the following definition of “h is a priori” which is not dependent on contingent features of the world: “It is possible that there is someone for whom h is a priori.” See Theory of Knowledge, 2nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1977), p. 45. The problem with such a definition, as Erwin points out, is that it would make virtually all contingent truths a priori truths. Panayot Butchvarov also argues, “Is there an obvious contradiction in the supposition that I may derive such knowledge [that there is a typewriter before me now] with formal validity solely from premises of which I have primary a priori knowledge?” See The Concept of Knowledge (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970), p. 103.

5 Erwin, p. 598.

6 Ibid., p. 599.

7 One possible account of nonexperiential evidence is defended in my “Conceivability and Possibility,” Ratio 17 (1975), pp. 118-21. For a more complete discussion of the problem of defining a priori knowledge, see my “The Definition of A Priori Knowledge,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 38 (1977), pp. 220-24.

8 For two radically different approaches to the problem of answering sceptical challenges to a priori knowledge, see Butchvarow, pp. 76-88 and Chisholm, pp. 48-50.

On the Relationship between A Priori and Necessary Statements

  • Albert Casullo (a1)


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