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Introduction: The Old Rationalism and the New Rationalism

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Abstract

The philosophical debate about the possibility of authentic a priori knowledge, that is, non-stipulative, non-trivial knowledge of the way the world necessarily is, obtained sufficiently independently of any and all sense-experiential episodes and/or contingent natural facts, is no less important today than it was when Plato posited in the Meno that we are able to have such knowledge owing to a pre-natal close encounter that our disembodied souls had with the Forms, and when Descartes posited in the Meditations on First Philosophy that such knowledge is infallible because guaranteed by a non-deceiving God. Of course, neither the platonic story nor the Cartesian story about our purported a priori abilities has many adherents today. Nevertheless, a large majority of philosophers (71.1 percent, according to a recent PhilPapers survey1) do indeed believe that a priori knowledge is really possible.

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  • Empirical Science
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© 2013 Andrew Chapman, Addison Ellis, Robert Hanna, Tyler Hildebrand, HenryW. Pickford

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Chapman, A., Ellis, A., Hanna, R., Hildebrand, T., Pickford, H.W. (2013). Introduction: The Old Rationalism and the New Rationalism. In: In Defense of Intuitions. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137347954_1

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