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The Linguistic View of a Priori Knowledge

  • M. Giaquinto (a1)

This paper presents considerations against the linguistic view of a priori knowledge. The paper has two parts. In the first part I argue that problems about the individuation of lexical meanings provide evidence for a moderate indeterminacy, as distinct from the radical indeterminacy of meaning claimed by Quine, and that this undermines the idea of a priori knowledge based on knowledge of synonymies. In the second part of the paper I argue against the idea that a priori knowledge not based on knowledge of synonymies can be explained in terms of implicit definitions.1

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Paul Boghossian , ‘Analyticity Reconsidered.’ Nous (1996), 360391

D. Geeraerts , ‘Vagueness's puzzles, polysemy's vagaries’, Cognitive Linguistics 1993, 223272

Quine , ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism.’ Philosophical Review (1951), 2043

H. Putnam Mind, Language and Reality: Philosophical Papers, volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1975

Quine , ‘On the Reasons for Indeterminacy of Translation.’ Journal of Philosophy (1970), 178183

Horwich , ‘Stipulation, Meaning, and Apriority’ in P. Boghossian and C. Peacocke (eds.) New Essays on the A Priori. (Oxford: Oxford University Press2000)

Horwich , Reflections on Meaning. (Oxford: Oxford University Press2005)

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  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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