Posted: Jun 01, 2011 2:59 pm
by Sweenith
Cito di Pense wrote:
Sweenith wrote:
But rationalism as such makes no exclusions with respect to empirical evidence - it merely affirms that we have both—knowledge which is a priori (known independently from our experience), as well as a posteriori knowledge (attained via exp).

That version of rationalism imports a kind of poorly-disguised dualism, in the form of a priori knowledge. What else could it be?

What do you mean by dualism? If you mean substance dualism, according to which persons are immaterial minds with material bodies, then I don't see how affirming a priori knowledge commits one to dualism (in that sense). While there are certain dualist theories which give an account of a priori knowledge, there are also certain materialist theories which affirm a priori knowledge (after all, the analytic/synthetic distinction wasn't really called into question by empiricists until Quine, if I recall). This shows that a priori knowledge doesn't entail (substance) dualism.

And it's not necessarily that a priori knowledge has to be thought of as the knowledge which somehow carried over from your past life (Plato's view); another way to think about it is that a priori knowledge is independent of experience in the sense that they are necessary truths, and thus in principle cannot depend upon any a posteriori evidence or considerations for their truth.