I was thinking over the concept of a priory reasoning coming from intuition that comes from the development of our intuitions through the duration of our lifes. Therefore Natural Heuristics does no guarantee proper logic, but just some reasoning in based in intuitions trained and contingent by Empirical Observations. Therefore there may or may no be a Proper logic of thought but only empirical facts and functional heuristics.

Have someone already tackle this attack to Logic itself and resolved it, what books should read about that, how they solved that?

  • I don't believe in nihilism.
    – Boba Fit
    Dec 13, 2022 at 20:01
  • @BobaFit Then how you would defend reality from such aberration?
    – Rieke
    Dec 13, 2022 at 20:14
  • Bayesianism could be said to support the relative distinction btw the two in the same spirit as Boltzmann Gibbs partition function in statistical mechanics… Dec 15, 2022 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


It is common to distinguish what is a priori knowable from what is a posteriori knowable. The distinction itself is not really what needs defending. Rather, there are many advocates of radical empiricism, such as early Quine, who question whether anything is truly a priori at all. So, what needs defending is the possibility of the a priori.

One might attempt to defend the possibility of a priori knowledge by appeal to innate intuitions or perhaps, with Kant, as arising from some kind of fundamental category of understanding. But such attempts run contrary to the modern preference for scientific explanations, preferably of the reductive kind.

If we try to explain our intuitions in terms of our experiences, or from our genetic inheritance, there is a huge plausibility gap. Our ancient ancestors' ability to survive and thrive has far more to do with their capacity to climb trees, use tools, and migrate long distances than it has with the performing of abstract reasoning. Also, studies by psychologists such as Kahneman and Tversky have shown that human beings are not particularly good at reasoning. We are subject to all kinds of cognitive biases. And specific tests of ability to solve problems have shown that people are pretty bad at logic, and spectacularly bad at reasoning with probabilities.

But all is not hopeless for defenders of the a priori. Some modern philosophers have defended the idea that we do have a priori knowledge based on rational insight. One of these is Laurence BonJour "In Defense of Pure Reason", Cambridge University Press (1998). Also, Robert Hanna, "Rationality and Logic", MIT Press (2006) advocates the view that logic is cognitively constructed and that humans are essentially rational animals.

  • What about the claim that because Natural Heuristic come from a empirical exprience, therefore there is no reason to think that our reasonings can be valid in the True Logic of the Universe?
    – Rieke
    Dec 13, 2022 at 23:29
  • I don't see how you would get to "no reason to think our reasonings can be valid". A defender of that position might claim that their heuristics come to approximate correct logic over a long enough time and sufficient experience. I don't think there is such a thing as "the True Logic of the Universe". Logics are human creations. There are lots of useful logics, some more useful than others, but not a single True one.
    – Bumble
    Dec 14, 2022 at 11:27
  • 1
    If there is no a single true one, e.i. all of them are useful representative model, but only one represents reality, e.g. Classical logic denies contradiction, para-consistent logic do not. Then is the same as saying that there are no laws of Physics.
    – Rieke
    Dec 14, 2022 at 16:44
  • That is no saying that at least in the physicalist sense There is no thing as a priori Knowledge
    – Rieke
    Dec 14, 2022 at 16:46

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