[hist-analytic] The "Analytic A Posteriori"
aune at philos.umass.edu
Thu Sep 3 08:05:42 EDT 2009
A posteriori knowledge is not just knowledge by experience in your
sense; if it were, only observational knowledge and possibly memory
knowledge would be a posteriori knowledge. But many things we know
about the world are known inferentially; and what is thus known has
always been considered a posteriori knowledge.
When you say "'Nec(a = b)' follows from first order knowledge by
substitution of predicates, what do you mean. What predicates are
substituted? Are you supposing 'Nec(a = b)' is a logical truth?
I have neve understood your attitude towards rigid designators. The
whole idea of such designators was introduced to deflect objections
that commit a fallacy of equivocation. Some people objected to the
theorem on the ground that if a = the F, it may yet be false that N(a
= the F) because it is possible that (there are possible situations in
which) someone other than a = the F. But if "the F" is being used to
single out a particular person, the fact that someone else might
satisfy the description "the F" would not show that the person singled
out might possibly be different from the person a. Could there be a
situation in which I am different from myself or anyone is different
from him- or herself? NO. There is nothing problematic, I think,
about using a definite description to refer to a particular thing as
opposed to anything that might satisfy that description.
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