[[Cheryl Misak|Author]

The a priori, on the other hand, is the “uncompelled initiative of human thought”. It is a conceptual framework or network of categories and definitive concepts. Such frameworks, he says, “are peculiarly social products, reached in the light of experiences which have much in common, and beaten out, like other pathways, by the coincidence of human purposes and the exigencies of human cooperation”. They are not necessary, as Kant argued. They are simply indispensable if we are to make sense of experience. The laws of logic are “principles of procedure, the parliamentary rules of intelligent thought and speech”.

American Pragmatism and Indispensability Arguments