Albert Casullo's research while affiliated with University of Nebraska at Lincoln and other places

Publications (25)

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In 'Necessary Beings', Bob Hale addresses two questions: What is the source of necessity? What is the source of our knowledge of it? He offers novel responses to them in terms of the metaphysical notion of 'nature' or, more familiarly, 'essence'. In this paper, I address Hale’s response to the first question. My assessment is negative. I argue that...
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Scott Sturgeon has recently challenged Pollock’s account of undercutting defeaters. The challenge involves three primary contentions: (1) the account is both too strong and too weak, (2) undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat only in conjunction with higher-order beliefs about the basis of the lower-order beliefs whose justification...
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This is my response to the papers by Chris Pincock, Lisa Warenski and Jonathan Weinberg, which were presented at the Book Symposium on my Essays on A Priori Knowledge and Justification, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, March 16–19, 2014.
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During the past decade a new twist in the debate regarding the a priori has unfolded. A number of prominent epistemologists have challenged the coherence or importance of the a priori—a posteriori distinction or, alternatively, of the concept of a priori knowledge. My focus in this paper is on these new challenges to the a priori. My goals are to (...
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David Henderson and Terry Horgan offer a detailed account of the structure of conceptual analysis that is embedded within a more general account of a priori justification. Their account highlights an important feature of conceptual analysis that has been overlooked in the recent debate. Although it is generally recognized that conceptual analysis i...
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There has been a major renewal of interest in the topic of a priori knowledge over the past twenty-five years. The sixteen essays in this collection, which span this entire period, document the complex set of issues motivating the renewed interest, identify the central epistemological questions, and provide the leading ideas of a unified response t...
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Critique de la conception de la concevabilite defendue par E. Sosa dans l'article precedent. Soulevant le probleme du type de processus a l'oeuvre dans l'apparence intellectuelle, l'A. montre que la these epistemologique de Sosa, fondee sur des exemples mathematiques et sur la reformulation du probleme de Benacerraf, ne rend compte ni de la justifi...
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Kripke claims that there are necessary a posteriori truths and contingent a priori truths. These claims challenge the traditional Kantian view that All knowledge of necessary truths is a priori and all a priori knowledge is of necessary truths. Kripke’s claims continue to be resisted, which indicates that the Kantian view remains attractive. My g...
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There are four approaches to analyzing the concept of a priori knowledge. The primary target of the reductive approach is the concept of a priori justification. The primary target of the nonreductive approach is the concept of a priori knowledge. There are two approaches to analyzing each primary target. A theory-neutral approach provides an analys...
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Joshua Thurow offers a defence of the claim that if a belief is defeasible by non‐experiential evidence then it is defeasible by experiential evidence. He responds to an objection which I make against this claim, and offers two arguments in support of his own position. I show that Thurow's response misconstrues my objection, and that his supporting...
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In his seminal paper, “Content Preservation,” Tyler Burge defends an original account of testimonial knowledge. The originality of the account is due, in part, to the fact that it is cast within a novel epistemic framework. The central feature of that framework is the introduction of the concept of entitlement, which is alleged to be a distinctive...
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Tyler Burge offers a theory of testimony that allows for the possibility of both testimonial a priori warrant and testimonial a priori knowledge. I uncover a tension in his account of the relationship between the two, and locate its source in the analogy that Burge draws between testimonial warrant and preservative memory. I contend that this analo...
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The major divide in contemporary epistemology is between those who embrace and those who reject a priori knowledge. This book aims to provide a systematic treatment of the primary epistemological issues associated with the a priori that is sensitive to recent developments in the field of epistemology. Assessing the status of the a priori within con...
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Rationalists often argue that empiricism is incoherent and conclude, on that basis, that some knowledge is a priori. I contend that such arguments against empiricism cannot be parlayed into an argument in support of the a priori since rationalism is open to the same arguments. I go on to offer an alternative strategy. The leading idea is that, inst...
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This article addresses the question of whether a priori knowledge exists. Since one cannot determine whether such knowledge exists without knowing what such knowledge is, it begins by providing an analysis of the concept a priori knowledge. It utilizes that analysis to show that the traditional arguments, both for and against, the a priori are not...
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The analytic/synthetic distinction has played a central role in discussions of a priori knowledge throughout the twentieth century. One of the primary reasons for the prominence of this distinction is the widespread influence of the tradition of logical empiricism which endorsed the following principles: (LEl) All analytic propositions are knowable...
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Although recent developments in possible world semantics have had their primary impact in the areas of metaphysics and philosophical logic, there have also been some interesting epistemological consequences. Saul Kripke has argued that there is a priori knowledge of contingent propositions. © 1988, Australasian Association of Philosophy. All rights...
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Empiricist theories of knowledge are attractive for they offer the prospect of a unitary theory of knowledge based on relatively well understood physiological and cognitive processes. Mathematical knowledge, however, has been a traditional stumbling block for such theories. There are three primary features of mathematical knowledge which have led e...
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In the introduction to his Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant introduces a conceptual framework that involves three distinctions: the epistemic distinction between a priori and empirical (or a posteriori) knowledge; the metaphysical distinction between necessary and contingent propositions; and the semantic distinction between analytic and synt...
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The past twenty five years have witnessed a resurgence of interest in the topic of a priori knowledge. The impetus has come from a number of different directions. Paul Benacerraf's (1973) seminal paper "Mathematical Truth," which underscored the difficulty of providing an account of mathematical knowledge compatible with a Platonist theory of mathe...

Citations

... The focus here is on the epistemic reading of the thesis that essence precedes existence, that is: do we require knowledge of essence before we can know about actually existing things? I have in mind the contributions of Horvath (2014), Sgaravatti (2016), Tahko (2017), Casullo (2020), and Vaidya and Wallner (2021). 10 In the present paper my primary interest is on the ontological reading, but of course in Lowe's own work these two readings are so closely related that it is difficult to distinguish them entirely. ...
... However, this approach has recently come under fire from those who fail to see how essences deliver a perspicuous explanation of necessity (see e.g. Romero, 2019;Casullo, 2020;Leech, 2020;Mackie, 2020). There remains an explanatory gap, it is thought. ...
... First, it might be objected that believing that one's belief about p fails to be rational (in response to higher-order evidence about p) cannot be necessary for higher-order defeat. If believing that one's belief about p fails to be rational is necessary for higher-order defeat it seems to follow that unreflective subjects would be immune to higher-order defeat (Casullo, 2018). Second, it might be argued that believing that one's belief about p fails to be rational (in response to higher-order evidence about p) cannot be sufficient for higher-order defeat. ...
... Casullo [1988], p. 43.15 Casullo [1988], p. 53. ...
... 12. Kripke later acknowledges that analyticity might instead be defined in a way that enables certain contingent statements, like (6), to count as 'analytic ' (1980, 122n) 13. See (Casullo, 1992) for a critique of other trivializing definitions of analyticity, as given by Quinton (1963) and Swinburne (1975). ...
... For a critical discussion of this conclusion seeJenkins (2008) andCasullo (2012). For a defense of Williamson's claim seeYli-Vakkuri (2013). ...
... First, rather than interpret the case as showing that belief in Parsimony's epistemic value is justified a posteriori, in depending on how the world contingently is, one can rather interpret the case as showing that belief in Parsimony's epistemic value, while justified a priori, is defeasible. As Casullo (2003) argues, there is no experiential indefeasibility condition in the concept of a priori justification; and Summerfield (1991) and Thurow (2006) argue, more strongly, that a priori justification is generally defeasible by experience. Indeed, these defeasibility claims are stronger than our alternative interpretation requires, since by hypothesis the worldly contingencies at issue here are beyond the reach of any experience. ...
... I propose that we can analyse them in the same way that we analyse essences in general, and that the truthmakers may generally be found in actuality. I regard this to be partly an a priori endeavour, but I will not put much weight on this epistemic claim in the present context -I regard a priori and a posteriori inquiry to be very closely intertwined (for further discussion on this distinction, see, e.g., Williamson, 2013, Casullo, 2015, and Tahko, 2018. ...
... They cannot be primary sources of a priori justification since they cannot generate such justification. For a discussion of this issue, see Burge (1993) and Casullo (2007). metaphysician supporting the incorrect view is either justified a posteriori or not justified at all. ...
... 5 3. Proponents of abduction-based and conceiving-based modal epistemologies maintain that their preferred mode of inference is not just a way to form justified modal 4 A belief-forming method is a priori if it can eventuate in justified beliefs that cannot be justified via (relevant kinds of) experience. See, e.g., Bonjour (1998), Casullo (2001, 2003, Russell (2017) and Biggs and Wilson (2017b) for further discussion of which kinds of experience are relevant to assessing whether a given belief-forming method is a priori; we follow standard practice in assuming that perceptual experience is relevant to this determination, but certain kinds of cognitive experience, including experience associated with coming to possess concepts associated with a given belief, and experience of reasoning, are not. 5 Other work with which we cannot fully engage here includes Aliseda (2006), Magnani (2017), Woods and Gabbay (2005) and Woods (2013). ...