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A Priori knowledge and the scope of philosophy

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I presented this material as a talk drawn from a long manuscript “On the Possibility of Philosophical Knowledge” (forthcoming), which was made available to William Lycan and Ernest Sosa, the other participants in the APA Symposium A Priori Knowledge. Although the talk was incomplete in various ways, my hope was that it would serve as the basis for a fruitful discussion. Professors Lycan and Sosa heartily engaged the idea and in their papers more than met my expectations. My replies (also printed in this issue) fill in some points omitted in the present paper. In the course of the paper I refer to three preliminary papers and a forthcoming book- “Philosophical Limits of Scientific Essentialism”, “The Incoherence of Empiricism”, “Mental Properties”, and Philosophical Limits of Science — which also address our topic. I should like to take this occasion to draw attention to an important and elegant paper by Eli Hirsch, “Metaphysical Necessity and Conceptual Truth”. His views are similar to views I had worked out independently (described here and in the above papers). Finally, I wish to extend my warmest thanks to Philip Nickel, Jessica Wilson, and especially Iain Martel for help preparing the manuscript, to James Tomberlin for conceiving of the Symposium, and to Reinaldo Elugardo for including this record of it in this issue.

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Bealer, G. A Priori knowledge and the scope of philosophy. Philos Stud 81, 121–142 (1996).

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  • Priori Knowledge