Identity, Analyticity and Epistemic Conservatism
Tomassi (Paul)
Source: Sorites 13, October 2001: 72-79
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary


Author’s Abstract

    In the first instance, the paper proposes a response to W.V.O. Quine’s infamous attack on the analytic-synthetic distinction which attempts to carve out a core notion of analyticity by strictly delimiting the extension of that concept. The resulting position — epistemic conservatism — provides a platform for a significant epistemic challenge to essentialist positions of the kind proposed by Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam: under exactly which kinds of circumstance are we warranted in asserting that we have grasped the truth of an identity statement of the requisite kind? In the absence of a clear and complete response to that epistemic challenge, the paper concludes that the Kripke-Putnam case remains not proven.

Comment:

Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 13

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