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Kitcher and Frege on a priori knowledge


Pfisterer, C C (2009). Kitcher and Frege on a priori knowledge. Conceptus, XXXVII(94):29-43.

Abstract

In his book The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge and in a series of articles, Philip Kitcher attacks the traditional conception of a priori mathematical knowledge. The reliabilism he develops as an alternative situates all our knowledge within a psychological framework. However, in Frege‘s Epistemology he claims that Frege‘s conception of a priori knowledge is compatible with a psychological account. Kitcher attributes to Frege a traditional concept of proof, according to which mathematical and logical proofs are psychological activities. I shall argue that Kitcher‘s interpretation conflicts with Frege‘s anti-psychologistic injunction against confusing reasons with causes. Moreover, the psychological explanation obscures one of the most interesting features of a priori knowledge.

In his book The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge and in a series of articles, Philip Kitcher attacks the traditional conception of a priori mathematical knowledge. The reliabilism he develops as an alternative situates all our knowledge within a psychological framework. However, in Frege‘s Epistemology he claims that Frege‘s conception of a priori knowledge is compatible with a psychological account. Kitcher attributes to Frege a traditional concept of proof, according to which mathematical and logical proofs are psychological activities. I shall argue that Kitcher‘s interpretation conflicts with Frege‘s anti-psychologistic injunction against confusing reasons with causes. Moreover, the psychological explanation obscures one of the most interesting features of a priori knowledge.

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:23 May 2012 08:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:22
Publisher:Ontos Verlag
ISSN:0010-5155
Related URLs:http://www.conceptus.at/

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