[hist-analytic] The "Analytic A Posteriori"

Bruce Aune aune at philos.umass.edu
Wed Sep 2 08:06:01 EDT 2009

Your seem a little confused on this, Steve.  If 'a' and 'b' are  
different terms understood rigidly--that is, if, unlike a typical use  
of 'the inventor of bifocals', they refer to the same individuals in  
all contexts of reference--then then only way 'N(a = b)' can be known  
to be true is by inference from 'a = b', which, in the case of things  
in the physical world, is an empirical statement.  'N(a = b)'  is  
therefore a clear case of something that, if known at all, is known a  
posteriori.  The other cases you mention are knowable a priori even  
though they could equally be known by inference from an empirical  

I won't be replying to Danny Frederick's latest comments on my chapter  
in the near future.  At the moment I am busy doing some work on my  
house, and I don't have time to get involved with another encounter  
with Danny.  I count six messages from Danny, at least four  of which  
were concerned with one issue that should not have provoked a response  
at all.  I mean the issue about my claim that two things have the same  
specific (non generic color) just when their specific colors [their  
actual colors] are indiscernible.  Danny couldn't seem to grasp what I  
was saying, because he continued to offer irrelevant "counterexamples"  
in which objects of the same specific colors are made to look  
different because of being seen in different circumstances.  If you  
got some paint chips at a paint store to ascertain the color of your  
kitchen wall, you would not learn that the wall does not have the  
color of one chip if the colors of the two things looked different  
when viewed under different light, nor would you learn that a chip and  
the wall were of the same color if, viewed in poor light, the colors  
of the two things looked the same.  This "issue" didn't require  
discussion at all, I would say.  Danny's latest comments cover a  
number of different points, some of which I have already responded  
to.  The prospect of dealing with them all is not encouraging.

Best to all, Bruce

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