The defeater version of Benacerraf’s problem for a priori knowledge
- Joshua C. Thurow
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Paul Benacerraf’s argument that mathematical realism is apparently incompatible with mathematical knowledge has been widely thought to also show that a priori knowledge in general is problematic. Although many philosophers have rejected Benacerraf’s argument because it assumes a causal theory of knowledge, some maintain that Benacerraf nevertheless put his finger on a genuine problem, even though he didn’t state the problem in its most challenging form. After diagnosing what went wrong with Benacerraf’s argument, I argue that a new, more challenging, version of Benacerraf’s problem can be constructed. The new version—what I call the Defeater Version—of Benacerraf’s problem makes use of a no-defeater condition on knowledge and justification. I conclude by arguing that the best way to avoid the problem is to construct a theory of how a priori judgments reliably track the facts. I also suggest four different kinds of theories worth pursuing.
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- The defeater version of Benacerraf’s problem for a priori knowledge
Volume 190, Issue 9 , pp 1587-1603
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- Joshua C. Thurow (1)
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- 1. Mount Marty College, 1105 W. 8th St, Yankton, SD, 57078, USA