Philosophical Studies 146 (2):273-289 (2008)

Joshua C. Thurow
University of Texas at San Antonio
One of Laurence BonJour’s main arguments for the existence of the a priori is an argument that a priori justification is indispensable for making inferences from experience to conclusions that go beyond experience. This argument has recently come under heavy fire from Albert Casullo, who has dubbed BonJour’s argument, “The Generality Argument.” In this paper I (i) defend the Generality Argument against Casullo’s criticisms, and (ii) develop a new, more plausible, version of the Generality Argument in response to some other objections of my own. Two of these objections stem out of BonJour’s failing to fully consider the importance of the distinction between being justified in believing that an inference is good and being justified in making an inference. The final version of the argument that I develop sees the Generality Argument as one part of a cumulative case argument for the existence of a priori justification, rather than as a stand-alone knock-down argument.
Keywords A priori  Rationalism  Inference
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1007/s11098-008-9256-7
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,231
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
In Defense of Pure Reason.Laurence BonJour - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.
A Priori Justification.Albert Casullo - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press USA.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Annotated Bibliography on A Priori Knowledge.Albert Casullo - 2012 - In Essays on A priori Knowledge and Justification. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 329-339.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Can Human Rationality Be Defended "A Priori"?David Shier - 2000 - Behavior and Philosophy 28 (1/2):67 - 81.
Against Moderate Rationalism.Bruce Aune - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:1-26.
The a Priori in Philosophy.Albert Casullo & Joshua C. Thurow (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Assertion, Knowledge, and Context.Keith DeRose - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (2):167-203.
Experientially Defeasible a Priori Justification.Joshua Thurow - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):596–602.
Truth and Provability.John Lucas & Michael Redhead - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):331-2.
Burdens of Proof: Why Modal Ontological Arguments Aren’T Convincing.James Hardy - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Research 21:321-330.


Added to PP index

Total views
162 ( #73,255 of 2,518,150 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #167,290 of 2,518,150 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes