Ideas from 'Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority' by Paul Horwich [2000], by Theme Structure

[found in 'New Essays on the A Priori' (ed/tr Boghossian,P /Peacocke,C) [OUP 2000,0-19-924127-9]].

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2. Reason / D. Definition / 13. Against Definition
How do we determine which of the sentences containing a term comprise its definition?
                        Full Idea: How are we to determine which of the sentences containing a term comprise its definition?
                        From: Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 2)
                        A reaction: Nice question. If I say 'philosophy is the love of wisdom' and 'philosophy bores me', why should one be part of its definition and the other not? What if I stipulated that the second one is part of my definition, and the first one isn't?
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 1. Nature of the A Priori
A priori belief is not necessarily a priori justification, or a priori knowledge
                        Full Idea: It is one thing to believe something a priori and another for this belief to be epistemically justified. The latter is required for a priori knowledge.
                        From: Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 8)
                        A reaction: Personally I would agree with this, because I don't think anything should count as knowledge if it doesn't have supporting reasons, but fans of a priori knowledge presumably think that certain basic facts are just known. They are a priori justified.
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 6. A Priori from Reason
Understanding needs a priori commitment
                        Full Idea: Understanding is itself based on a priori commitment.
                        From: Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 12)
                        A reaction: This sounds plausible, but needs more justification than Horwich offers. This is the sort of New Rationalist idea I associate with Bonjour. The crucial feature of the New lot is, I take it, their fallibilism. All understanding is provisional.
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
Meaning is generated by a priori commitment to truth, not the other way around
                        Full Idea: Our a priori commitment to certain sentences is not really explained by our knowledge of a word's meaning. It is the other way around. We accept a priori that the sentences are true, and thereby provide it with meaning.
                        From: Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 8)
                        A reaction: This sounds like a lovely trump card, but how on earth do you decide that a sentence is true if you don't know what it means? Personally I would take it that we are committed to the truth of a proposition, before we have a sentence for it.
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 9. A Priori from Concepts
Meanings and concepts cannot give a priori knowledge, because they may be unacceptable
                        Full Idea: A priori knowledge of logic and mathematics cannot derive from meanings or concepts, because someone may possess such concepts, and yet disagree with us about them.
                        From: Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 12)
                        A reaction: A good argument. The thing to focus on is not whether such ideas are a priori, but whether they are knowledge. I think we should employ the word 'intuition' for a priori candidates for knowledge, and demand further justification for actual knowledge.
If we stipulate the meaning of 'number' to make Hume's Principle true, we first need Hume's Principle
                        Full Idea: If we stipulate the meaning of 'the number of x's' so that it makes Hume's Principle true, we must accept Hume's Principle. But a precondition for this stipulation is that Hume's Principle be accepted a priori.
                        From: Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 9)
                        A reaction: Yet another modern Quinean argument that all attempts at defining things are circular. I am beginning to think that the only a priori knowledge we have is of when a group of ideas is coherent. Calling it 'intuition' might be more accurate.
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 10. A Priori as Subjective
A priori knowledge (e.g. classical logic) may derive from the innate structure of our minds
                        Full Idea: One potential source of a priori knowledge is the innate structure of our minds. We might, for example, have an a priori commitment to classical logic.
                        From: Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 11)
                        A reaction: Horwich points out that to be knowledge it must also say that we ought to believe it. I'm wondering whether if we divided the whole territory of the a priori up into intuitions and then coherent justifications, the whole problem would go away.