Essays on a Priori Knowledge and Justification
The past twenty-five years have seen a major renewal of interest in the topic of a priori knowledge. In the sixteen essays collected here, which span this entire period, philosopher Albert Casullo documents the complex set of issues motivating the renewed interest, identifies the central epistemological questions, and provides the leading ideas of a unified response to them. Throughout the essays, Casullo offers a systematic treatment of the concept of a priori knowledge, the existence of a priori knowledge, and the relationship between a priori knowledge and the related concepts of necessary truth and analytic truth. The essays fall into three categories: six published prior to his A Priori Justification (OUP, 2003), four published after the book, and four previously unpublished papers.
The first six essays provide the background and introduction to a number of the major themes of the book: the articulation and defense of the minimal conception of a priori justification, an exposition of the limitations of the traditional arguments both for and against a priori knowledge, and the relevance of empirical investigation to providing supporting evidence for the claim that there are nonexperiential sources of justification. The remaining four published essays explore diverse themes that were introduced in Casullo's previous book but not developed in detail: epistemic overdetermination, the relationship between a priori knowledge and necessary truth, testimony and a priori knowledge, and the bearing of socio-historical accounts of knowledge on the a priori. The four previously unpublished essays address issues that have either emerged or taken on more prominence in the literature on the a priori since the publication of Casullo's previous book: the evidential status of intuitions, the nature of modal knowledge, and challenges to the cogency or the significance of the a priori-a posteriori distinction.