Célia Teixeira (Graduate Program in Logic and Metaphysics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). Rationalism and the a priori

part of: CLE Permanent Seminar on Metaphysics
August 10, 2022, 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Centro de Lógica, Epistemologia, e História da Ciência, University of Campinas

Centro de Lógica, Epistemologia e História da Ciência, Rua Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, 251

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  • Support: grant #2021/11381-1, São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)


University of Campinas

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[All seminars] 17:00 to 18:30 pm (GMT+0): https://meet.google.com/odf-sdnr-grw

Abstract: Rationalism is criticised for appealing to a “mysterious” faculty of rational intuition to explain how a priori knowledge is possible. Empiricism is typically motivated by opposition to rationalism, by offering a purportedly “non-mysterious” account of the a priori. In this paper I defend rationalism. I argue that the rationalist appeal to rational intuition as the source of the a priori is no more mysterious than the empiricist appeal to understanding. I further argue that our best empiricist accounts of the a priori do not provide an alternative to rationalism as the fundamental explanation they offer of the a priori is one that could equally be endorsed by a rationalist—and that they fail for reasons that do not undermine rationalism. I conclude that rationalism still offers the best route to explain the a priori.

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