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In a series of influential articles, George Bealer argues for the autonomy of philosophical knowledge on the basis that philosophically known truths must be necessary truths. The main point of his argument is that the truths investigated by the sciences are contingent truths to be discovered a posteriori by observation, while the truths of philosophy are necessary truths to be discovered a priori by intuition. The project of assimilating philosophy to the sciences is supposed to be rendered illegitimate by the more or less sharp distinction in these characteristic methods and its modal basis. In this article Bealer's particular way of drawing the distinction between philosophy and science is challenged in a novel manner, and thereby philosophical naturalism is further defended.
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Keywords: Bealer; counterfactuals; ideal reasoning; naturalism; philosophical methodology; rationalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, St. Cloud State University, 123 Brown Hall, 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301–4498, USA, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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