Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12630
If all knowledge is empirical, can it be necessary?
Ef öll þekking er byggð á reynslu, getur hún verið nauðsynleg?
This thesis is meant to examine whether there is an impossibility of non-empirically known truths. An attempt will be made to show that both analytic truths and a priori knowledge is inherently either empirical or meaningless. From that notion, a framework of a posteriori knowledge will be used to determine whether it is possible to know what constitutes as necessary knowledge. Epistemic luck will be shown to interfere with the justification of empirical truths and furthermore, that Gettier examples deny the equivalence of justified true beliefs as knowledge. A Kripkean notion will be applied to demonstrate the existence of necessary a posteriori truths, although it is impossible to know whether a posteriori truths are necessary or not. Finally, contextualism will be employed to argue against the high standard of knowledge that skepticism introduces.
The conclusion is that within a framework of empiricism, there is a possibility of necessary a posteriori truths, even when using the high standard of knowledge the skeptical account introduces. It is however, impossible to know which truths are necessary and which are contingent. From there, a pragmatic account is used to conclude that there are only contingent truths. However, there is also a low standard of knowledge, which is introduced with the aid of contextualism, which can be used effectively to say that it is possible to know things in casual relations, although skeptical contexts that employ a high standard of knowledge still exist.