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I answered the following question, but wasn't absolutely sure that I did so viably:

Fallacy?: "Wyoming - It's like no place on Earth"

Is the location of places, like Wyoming on earth, an a posteriori and analytic judgement?

Seems so to me.

  1. It is a fact about the world, which we at least can work out by looking at how things are there, as I follow the map to a place that is on Earth, or we discover a place and call it Wyoming.

  2. Yet, it also seems true by virtue of the meaning of the term "Wyoming".


  1. I don't think it's necessary, but would not be overly surprised if I'm wrong. Wyoming can be renamed, anyway.
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  • Why "analytic" ? Wyoming is a proper name, with reference but it is hard to say "meaning"... If Wyoming instead names a crater on the Moon, it will not name a "place on Earth". Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 6:16
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA because i thought it might be "true by virtue of the meaning of the term". did you vote to close, how is this off-topic??
    – user25714
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 6:19
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    But how to apply the criteria "true by virtue of the meaning of the term" to a name of Place ? The only meaning "wyoming" has is to name a US state; if instead it names a Moon crater... Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 6:21
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA i'm not saying i'm sure i'm right, i'm not any kind of philosopher, it just seems likely... if you can show otherwise then please do answer! that's the question
    – user25714
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 6:25
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    No, I think it's basically fine. I linked to the SEPh article because I don't know the literature on names well enough to give you a substantive and confident answer.
    – Dan Hicks
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 11:00

1 Answer 1

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Kant distinguishes synthetic judgements, which extend our knowledge beyond what we already know, from analytic ones, which clarify what we already know (see the Introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason). Furthermore, a priori judgements are ones which are independent of experience (sensory affection by an object) and a posteriori are ones which aren't. Strictly speaking, however, as Kant elaborates in the Doctrine of Method, analytic judgements about empirical concepts constitute mere explications, so they aren't strictly a priori (like the judgements of mathematics or logic, for example). In this sense, indeed if we explicate the concept Wyoming, which is, without doubt, empirical, this gives us a statement, that although Kant would classify as a priori (because it isn't an observational statement) is also partially a posteriori in the sense that it explicates an empirical concept whose content was acquired through experience.

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