• Paul Needham
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 423)


The conception of knowledge as true justified belief, fundamental for the whole book, is introduced in this chapter as a concept that emerged with the pursuit of knowledge in the historical development of science. The discussion takes up the role of necessity in justifying first principles in ancient Greek thought and in providing a criterion of objectivity in seventeenth century thought, the quest for certainty in the seventeenth century in circumventing the influence of received opinion and the association of these ideas with the kind of knowledge Kant called a priori, distinguished from a posteriori or empirical knowledge. The inductive character of argument by appeal to evidence in empirical research is contrasted with proof in mathematical and a priori reasoning.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Needham
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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