Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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A priori: something that we can know without prior (empirical) investigation. Is the inventory of a priori certainties purely logical? Is a priori knowledge always necessary?

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 151
A Priori/McGinn: we have a number of cognitive abilities, which are based on innate foundations. - How is that possible?
It's a miracle that we know so much, much more surprising than e.g. our abilities to walk and lift. Of course, there are also scientifically unresolved issues here, but that does not threaten their ontological status.
I 165
A Priori/Transcendental Naturalism/TN/McGinn: we resemble three-dimensional beings that are equipped only with two-dimensional concepts.
In the case of empirical knowledge, we understand, after all, with what kind of things we are dealing.
I 166
A Priori/CAlM/Combinatorial Atomism with Lawlike Mappings/McGinn: Combinatorial Atomism with lawlike mapping deserts us with a priori: we cannot even formulate the kind of relationship that could be regulated by this scheme. We cannot even settle the corresponding facts in the realm of reality.
I 166
A Priori/Transcendental Naturalism: Transcendental Naturalism asserts that the relationship between consciousness and the brain did exist, but did not correspond to our thinking in form.
McGinn: unlike the topics discussed so far, the chances of the Transcendental Naturalism to apply to a priori seem rather low. For it is not able to transform something profoundly incoherent in one good piece of our world inventory.
I 170
A Priori/Transcendental Naturalism: due to the conceptual limits embedded in us, we will not succeed in establishing a unified theory about the a priori. It does not follow that we must correct any standard ideas.
Reason cannot establish a complete theory of itself.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

McGinn I
Colin McGinn
Problems in Philosophy. The Limits of Inquiry, Cambridge/MA 1993
German Edition:
Die Grenzen vernünftigen Fragens Stuttgart 1996

McGinn II
C. McGinn
The Mysteriouy Flame. Conscious Minds in a Material World, New York 1999
German Edition:
Wie kommt der Geist in die Materie? München 2001

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-07-21
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