Philosophical Studies

, Volume 132, Issue 3, pp 495–523 | Cite as

Necessity and Apriority

  • Gordon Prescott Barnes


The classical view of the relationship between necessity and apriority, defended by Leibniz and Kant, is that all necessary truths are known a priori. The classical view is now almost universally rejected, ever since Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam discovered that there are necessary truths that are known only a posteriori. However, in recent years a new debate has emerged over the epistemology of these necessary a posteriori truths. According to one view – call it the neo-classical view – knowledge of a necessary truth always depends on at least one item of a priori knowledge. According to the rival view – call it the neoempiricist view – our knowledge of necessity is sometimes broadly empirical. In this paper I present and defend an argument against the neo-empiricist view. I argue that knowledge of the necessity of a necessary truth could not be broadly empirical.


Good Explanation Visual Experience Inductive Inference Representational Content Sense Experience 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyState University of New York College at BrockportBrockportUSA

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