# [hist-analytic] The "Analytic A Posteriori"

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Tue Sep 1 16:33:35 EDT 2009

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I remarked:

"Both follow from logic, alone, applied to propositions, which

are not propositions of logic, viz. ‘a=b’ and ‘The cat has two

heads or the cat does not have two heads’ , both of which

may be a posteriori. Schematically the

similarity can be represented thusly,

(…or ~…) /<p>

(nec …) /<p>"

i ought to have said:

Both follow from logic, alone, applied to propositions,

which are not propositions of logic, viz. ‘a=b’ and

‘The cat has two heads' .  both of which may be a posteriori.

Schematically the similarity can be represented thusly,

(…or ~…) /<p>

(nec …) /<p>

Steve Bayne
----- Original Message -----
From: Baynesr at comcast.net
To: "hist-analytic" <hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 2:35:58 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: The "Analytic A Posteriori"

Sometimes identities, when true, are described as

true ‘analytic a posteriori ’ propositions. This is not,

always an altogether easy determination. The sentence

‘a=b’ may be a posteriori and true, but even if we concede

the force of the Barcan principle and it follows that

‘necessarily (a=b)’ it does not follow from this that

‘necessarily (a=b)’ is a posteriori . That is, empirical

knowledge, knowledge that is possible "only…through

experience." (Kant First Critique B3). It is true that,

traditionally, the sole alternative to a posteriori is a priori ,

and that to be known a priori is to be known "absolutely

independently of all experience." (ibid) This would suggest

to some that ‘necessarily (a=b)’ cannot be a priori because

it is from the identity ‘a=b’ that we come to know ‘necessarily

(a=b)’ and, ‘a=b" can be known only through experience,

rendering ‘necessarily (a=b)’ a posteriori . But the proposition

‘necessarily (a=b)’ does not follow from anything but the

Barcan Principle applied to some proposition asserting identity.

We ought no more consider ‘necessarily (a=b)’ a posteriori than

we would consider ‘The cat has two heads or the cat does not

have two heads’ as a posterior i. Both follow from logic, alone,

applied to propositions, which are not propositions of logic, viz.

‘a=b’ and ‘The cat has two heads or the cat does not have two

heads’, both of which may be a posteriori. Schematically the

similarity can be represented thusly,

(…or ~…) /<p>

(nec …) /<p>

Where an I going with this? Short answer: Hume and Descartes

reason analogously from the independence in thought of certain

concepts; bodies and souls; causes and effects. Pursing that

analogy is productive; disposing of the analytic a posteriori is

essential to one aspect of what I have to say on these, separate,

but related lines of reasoning.

Steve Bayne

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