more from Paul Horwich

Single Idea 9332

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic]

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.

Gist of Idea

Meaning is generated by a priori commitment to truth, not the other way around


Paul Horwich (Stipulation, Meaning and Apriority [2000], 8)

Book Reference

'New Essays on the A Priori', ed/tr. Boghossian,P /Peacocke,C [OUP 2000], p.162

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.