Is a priori knowledge possible?

Is a priori knowledge possible?
chazwyman
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Posted Dec 11, 2012 - 5:38 PM:

shmik wrote:

From the way I see it the issue is that you are using different definitions to everyone else.
Analytic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept.
Synthetic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject concept.

This is not what people mean when they say a priori, have a look at my post 41 for an explanation. I really have no idea where you got your definitions from, if you could provide some sources it would be helpful (I am using the terms the way Kant used them).

Analytic propositions are true by virtue of their meaning, while synthetic propositions are true by how their meaning relates to the world.

I think when you run through a few examples you will see how poor is the distinction.

I think it works fine if you are a trainspotting Prussian, but for ordinary mortals are so so foolish.

Analytic propositions are true by virtue of their definition which has to relate to the world, meaning they are little different from synthetic arguments

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#72 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Dec 11, 2012 - 5:41 PM:

Metaphysician Undiscovered wrote:

Well, I would argue that values are derived from the concept of equality, because to assign a value to something is to claim that that thing is equal to something, the value which is assigned to it.



Absurd. Historically people valued things long before anyone thought of equality

Metaphysician Undiscovered wrote:

For the sake of argument though, let's assume a more primitive form of value. Let's say that something is valued because it is wanted. We experience this form of value as a form of want. Value is assigned to what is needed. How do you get from here to the concept of equality? One thing is valued for one reason, another for another reason, where is the experience of equality? Some imaginary, or artificial equality must be created in order to produce a system for assigning specific values to things.


All you are doing is arguing for me, by using a real life example.
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#73 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Dec 11, 2012 - 5:55 PM:

chazwyman wrote:


Absurd. Historically people valued things long before anyone thought of equality
Yes, that was exactly my example, but where did equality come from? As I explained, it doesn't matter that people have valued things for thousands and thousand of years, to establish a formal system of values requires the concept of equality. I see no indication that even millions of years of valuing things could produce a concept of equality, because difference is essential to the experience of value. If things were seen to be equal one would not be valued over another. How does this experience of valuing differences lead to a concept of equality?



chawyman wrote:
All you are doing is arguing for me, by using a real life example.
No, I have not provided any example of an experience of equality, and neither have you.
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#74 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Dec 11, 2012 - 7:21 PM:

Metaphysician Undiscovered wrote:
Yes, that was exactly my example, but where did equality come from? As I explained, it doesn't matter that people have valued things for thousands and thousand of years, to establish a formal system of values requires the concept of equality. I see no indication that even millions of years of valuing things could produce a concept of equality, because difference is essential to the experience of value. If things were seen to be equal one would not be valued over another. How does this experience of valuing differences lead to a concept of equality?



No, I have not provided any example of an experience of equality, and neither have you.


Try and consdier what the thread is about. It is not about whether or not you can dream up an idea that does not eixst in experience. Any fool can imagine a blue dragon.

The thread is about whether of not we can have a priori knowlege

By asking me to find an example of expereince, all you are doing is demanding that knowledge has to submit to experience. And the degree to which 'equality' is part of knowldge is the degree to which such an example can be found in the sensible world.

One dollar is much like another as is a kg. might satify. in absolute terms there is not exact equivalence in the universe, things migh tlook the same but all occupy a unique postiion in time and place. "Equality" is not part of knowledge except where it complies to the judgement of the senses.
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#75 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Dec 11, 2012 - 9:07 PM:

chazwyman wrote:


Try and consdier what the thread is about. It is not about whether or not you can dream up an idea that does not eixst in experience. Any fool can imagine a blue dragon.

The thread is about whether of not we can have a priori knowlege
Sorry chazwyman, but you seem to be arguing that a priori knowledge is impossible because all knowledge needs to be verified by experience.

chawyman wrote:
By asking me to find an example of expereince, all you are doing is demanding that knowledge has to submit to experience. And the degree to which 'equality' is part of knowldge is the degree to which such an example can be found in the sensible world.
As I explained earlier in the thread, extensive quantities of mathematical knowledge, as well as the principle of identity (assigning a word to an object) relies on the concept of equality.

chawyman wrote:
One dollar is much like another as is a kg. might satify. in absolute terms there is not exact equivalence in the universe, things migh tlook the same but all occupy a unique postiion in time and place. "Equality" is not part of knowledge except where it complies to the judgement of the senses.
It appears like you have just admitted that equality can never be empirically verified. Now are you going to admit that this is a principle of a priori knowledge, or are you going to deny that all of that mathematical knowledge, and logic, which depends on the concept of equality is really knowledge?
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#76 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Dec 12, 2012 - 12:56 AM:

It occurs to me that the only a priori knowledge one can attain, is where a statement is true by definition of terminology, such as," All uncles are brothers to parents." or, "All unwed men are bachelaors."

Even the realization of this would require some a posteriori investigation to confirm. Therefore, other than terminological a priori truths, there is no means by which a priori truth may be obtained.
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#77 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Dec 12, 2012 - 12:59 AM:

Metaphysician Undiscovered wrote:
Sorry chazwyman, but you seem to be arguing that a priori knowledge is impossible because all knowledge needs to be verified by experience.


In which case he would be correct since all knowledge is obtained by experience, and a priori "knowledge"/assumption aquire prior to any sense of experience or investigation, or with exceedingly little intellectual investment.
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Posted Dec 12, 2012 - 1:13 AM:

Frank wrote:
Therefore, other than terminological a priori truths, there is no means by which a priori truth may be obtained.
This certainly seems like a synthetic a priori statement wink.
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Posted Dec 12, 2012 - 6:23 AM:

FrankLeeSeaux wrote:


In which case he would be correct since all knowledge is obtained by experience, and a priori "knowledge"/assumption aquire prior to any sense of experience or investigation, or with exceedingly little intellectual investment.

Are you going to answer for Chazwyman then? When sense experience determines differences, how is it that the notion of equality, and all the knowledge which follows from it, is based in sense experience?
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Posted Dec 12, 2012 - 7:09 AM:

Metaphysician Undiscovered wrote:
Sorry chazwyman, but you seem to be arguing that a priori knowledge is impossible because all knowledge needs to be verified by experience.

As I explained earlier in the thread, extensive quantities of mathematical knowledge, as well as the principle of identity (assigning a word to an object) relies on the concept of equality.

It appears like you have just admitted that equality can never be empirically verified. Now are you going to admit that this is a principle of a priori knowledge, or are you going to deny that all of that mathematical knowledge, and logic, which depends on the concept of equality is really knowledge?


It's quite obvious really.

Your last question can only be answered by reference to the a posteriori. QED. All a priori statements have to submit to the cold hard reality of the sensible world.

I'm puzzled as to what you think you are arguing here?
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