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The Rules of Thought$
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Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa and Benjamin W. Jarvis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661800.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 April 2021

The Epistemology of Thought-Experiment Judgments

The Epistemology of Thought-Experiment Judgments

(p.216) 9 The Epistemology of Thought-Experiment Judgments
The Rules of Thought

Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Benjamin W. Jarvis

Oxford University Press

This chapter applies the framework developed in Part I in order to explain how thought-experiment judgments can qualify as a priori knowledge. It is suggested that because the contents of thought-experiment judgments are, in many cases, rational necessities, it is possible to know these contents a priori by exhibiting the rational abilities and competencies that enable a subject to have propositional attitudes. It is illuminated how standard philosophical inquiry can have an abductive flavor even if it is a priori. It is also shown that standard philosophical inquiry is continuous with good inquiry considered more broadly. Finally, it is suggested that, to the extent that standard philosophical inquiry is “conceptual analysis”, conceptual analysis is not literally to be understood as the analysis of concepts. The target of standard philosophical inquiry is features of the world, rather than features of concepts per se.

Keywords:   thought-experiments, a priori, rational abilities, rational competencies, propositional attitudes, conceptual analysis, concepts

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