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The Possibility of Knowledge$
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Quassim Cassam

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208319

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208319.001.0001

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A Priori Knowledge

A Priori Knowledge

(p.188) 6 A Priori Knowledge
The Possibility of Knowledge

Quassim Cassam (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at a third how-possible question, namely: (HPapk). How is a priori knowledge possible? If how-possible questions are obstacle-dependent, the key to making any progress with (HPapk) is to identify the obstacles to the acquisition or existence of a priori knowledge which give this question its bite. Having identified these obstacles, the prospect for a multi-levels response to (HPapk) can then be examined. Predictably, the basic idea of this chapter is that such a response promises to cast at least as much light on (HPapk) as on other epistemological how-possible questions. The chapter identifies a means of coming to know things a priori, shows how obstacles to the acquisition of a priori knowledge by the suggested means can be overcome or dissipated, and considers whether it is either possible or necessary to give a substantive account of what makes it possible to come to know things a priori by these means.

Keywords:   reflection, how-possible question, reasoning, calculation, idealism, explanation, rationalism

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