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Subcategories:History/traditions: Epistemic Contextualism
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  1. J. E. Adler (2012). Pragmatic Encroachment, Methods and Contextualism. Analysis 72 (3):526-534.
    Defence of conditions to withdraw an assertion that require evidence or epistemic reasons that the assertion is not true or warranted. (Adler, J. 2006. Withdrawal and contextualism. Analysis 66: 280–85) The defence replies to the claim that better methods justify withdrawal without meeting that requirement and without pragmatic encroachment.
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  2. Jonathan E. Adler (2006). Withdrawal and Contextualism. Analysis 66 (4):280–285.
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  3. Maria Aloni & Paul Égré (2010). Alternative Questions and Knowledge Attributions. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):1-27.
    We discuss the 'problem of convergent knowledge', an argument presented by J. Schaffer in favour of contextualism about knowledge attributions, and against the idea that knowledge- wh can be simply reduced to knowledge of the proposition answering the question. Schaffer's argument centrally involves alternative questions of the form 'whether A or B'. We propose an analysis of these on which the problem of convergent knowledge does not arise. While alternative questions can contextually restrict the possibilities relevant for knowledge attributions, what (...)
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  4. Michael D. Ashfield (2013). Against the Minimalistic Reading of Epistemic Contextualism: A Reply to Wolfgang Freitag. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 28 (1):111-125.
    Several philosophers have argued that the factivity of knowledge poses a problem for epistemic contextualism (EC), which they have construed as a knowability problem. On a proposed minimalistic reading of EC’s commitments, Wolfgang Freitag argues that factivity yields no knowability problem for EC. I begin by explaining how factivity is thought to generate a contradiction out of paradigmatic contextualist cases on a certain reading of EC’s commitments. This reductio results in some kind of reflexivity problem for the contextualist when it (...)
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  5. Kent Bach (2008). Applying Pragmatics to Epistemology. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):68-88.
    This paper offers a smattering of applications of pragmatics to epistemology. In most cases they concern recent epistemological claims that depend for their plausibility on mistaking something pragmatic for something semantic. After giving my formulation of the semantic/pragmatic distinction and explaining how seemingly semantic intuitions can be responsive to pragmatic factors, I take up the following topics: 1. Classic Examples of Confusing Meaning and Use 2. Pragmatic Implications of Hedging or Intensifying an Assertion 3. Belief Attributions 4. Knowledge-wh 5. The (...)
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  6. Beverley Baines (2009). Contextualism, Feminism, and a Canadian Woman Judge. Feminist Legal Studies 17 (1):27-42.
    Feminist legal scholars have never cut the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada as much slack as the second. Yet the first, Justice Bertha Wilson, introduced the contextual method into the Court’s jurisprudence. Her approach to contextualism is consistent with one of three feminist legal methods that Katharine T. Bartlett identifies. More specifically, it is consistent with Bartlett’s feminist practical reasoning. However, Justice Wilson’s contextualism is not without its critics. The most challenging, Ruth Colker, contends it must (...)
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  7. Antonia Barke (2004). Epistemic Contextualism. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):353 - 373.
    Any contextualist approach to knowledge has to provide a plausible definition of the concept of context and spell out the mechanisms of context changes. Since it is the dynamics of context change that carry the main weight of the contextualist position, not every mechanism will be capable of filling that role. In particular, I argue that one class of mechanisms that is most popularly held to account for context changes, namely those that arise out of shifts of conversational parameters in (...)
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  8. T. Basboll (2007). Jason Stanley, Knowledge and Practical Interests. Philosophy in Review 27 (3):225.
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  9. Peter Baumann (2010). Factivity and Contextualism. Analysis 70 (1):82-89.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  10. Peter Baumann (2008). Contextualism and the Factivity Problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):580–602.
    Epistemological contextualism - the claim that the truth-value of knowledge-attributions can vary with the context of the attributor - has recently faced a whole series of objections. The most serious one, however, has not been discussed much so far: the factivity objection. In this paper, I explain what the objection is and present three different versions of the objection. I then show that there is a good way out for the contextualist. However, in order to solve the problem the contextualist (...)
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  11. Peter Baumann (2004). Lotteries and Contexts. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):415 - 428.
    There are many ordinary propositions we think we know. Almost every ordinary proposition entails some lottery proposition which we think we do not know but to which we assign a high probability of being true (for instance:I will never be a multi-millionaire entails I will not win this lottery). How is this possible – given that some closure principle is true? This problem, also known as the Lottery puzzle, has recently provoked a lot of discussion. In this paper I discuss (...)
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  12. James R. Beebe (2012). Social Functions of Knowledge Attributions. In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. 220--242.
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  13. Claudia Bianchi & Nicla Vassallo (2008). Contextualizing Meaning Through Epistemology. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:7-11.
    Epistemological contextualism and semantic contextualism are two distinct but closely entangled projects in contemporary philosophy. According to epistemological contextualism, our knowledge attributions are context-sensitive. That is, the truth-conditions of knowledge ascribing sentences – sentences of the form of (1) S knows that p - vary depending on the context in which they are uttered. Contextualism admits the legitimacy of several epistemic standards that vary with the context of use of (1); it might be right to claim – for the same (...)
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  14. Martijn Blaauw (2012). Introduction : Contrastivism in Philosophy. In Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
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  15. Martijn Blaauw (ed.) (2005). Epistemological Contextualism. Rodopi.
    Contextualist theories of knowledge have received a lot of attention in the contemporary epistemological literature. The central idea of such theories is that contextual factors play an important role in determining whether a particular knowledge sentence is true or false. Thus, on contextualist theories of knowledge it might be the case that a particular subject knows a proposition in one context but fails to know that same proposition in another context—while the only thing that has changed is the context.Of the (...)
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  16. Martin Blaauw (2005). Introduction: Epistemological Contextualism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 69.
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  17. T. Black (2003). The Relevant Alternatives Theory and Missed Clues. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):96 – 106.
    According to the relevant alternatives theory of knowledge (RA), I know that p only if my evidence eliminates all relevant alternatives to p . Jonathan Schaffer has recently argued that David Lewis's version of RA, which is perhaps the most detailed version yet provided, cannot account for our failure to know in cases involving missed clues, that is, cases in which we see but fail to appreciate decisive evidence. I argue, however, that Lewis's version of RA survives exposure to missed (...)
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  18. Tim Black (2008). Defending a Sensitive Neo-Moorean Invariantism. In Vincent Hendricks & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), New Waves in Epistemology. Palgrave Macmillan. 8--27.
    I defend a sensitive neo-Moorean invariantism, an epistemological account with the following characteristic features: (a) it reserves a place for a sensitivity condition on knowledge, according to which, very roughly, S’s belief that p counts as knowledge only if S wouldn’t believe that p if p were false; (b) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are comparatively low; and (c) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are invariant (i.e., that they vary neither with the linguistic context of the (...)
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  19. Tim Black (2005). Classic Invariantism, Relevance and Warranted Assertability Manœvres. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):328–336.
    Jessica Brown effectively contends that Keith DeRose’s latest argument for contextualism fails to rule out contextualism’s chief rival, namely, classic invariantism. Still, even if her position has not been ruled out, the classic invariantist must offer considerations in favor of her position if she is to convince us that it is superior to contextualism. Brown defends classic invariantism with a warranted assertability maneuver that utilizes a linguistic pragmatic principle of relevance. I argue, however, that this maneuver is not as effective (...)
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  20. Tim Black (2002). RELEVANT ALTERNATIVES AND THE SHIFTING STANDARDS OF KNOWLEDGE. Southwest Philosophy Review 18 (1):23-32.
    So, C. I don’t know that T. Premises 1 and 2 are both plausible. However, C seems false—I do seem to know that there is a tree before me. AI presents a puzzle because its two plausible premises yield a conclusion whose negation is plausible. And no matter whether we accept or reject AI, we find that we must give up something plausible—either premise 1, premise 2, or the negation of C. But which of these should we give up? I (...)
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  21. Tim Black & Peter Murphy (2005). Avoiding the Dogmatic Commitments of Contextualism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):165-182.
    Epistemological contextualists maintain that the truth-conditions of sentences of the form 'S knows that P' vary according to the context in which they're uttered, where this variation is due to the semantics of 'knows'. Among the linguistic data that have been offered in support of contextualism are several everyday cases. We argue that these cases fail to support contextualism and that they instead support epistemological invariantism—the thesis that the truth-conditions of 'S knows that P' do not vary according to the (...)
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  22. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2013). Knowledge and Implicatures. Synthese 190 (18):4293-4319.
    In recent work on the semantics of ‘knowledge’-attributions, a variety of accounts have been proposed that aim to explain the data about speaker intuitions in familiar cases such as DeRose’s Bank Case or Cohen’s Airport Case by means of pragmatic mechanisms, notably Gricean implicatures. This paper argues that pragmatic explanations of the data regarding ‘knowledge’-attributions are unsuccessful and concludes that in explaining those data we have to resort to accounts that (a) take those data at their semantic face value (Epistemic (...)
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  23. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2012). Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions. In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. 104.
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  24. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2009). Contextualism, Safety and Epistemic Relevance. Philosophical Studies 143 (3):383-394.
    The paper discusses approaches to Epistemic Contextualism that model the satisfaction of the predicate ‘know’ in a given context C in terms of the notion of belief/fact-matching throughout a contextually specified similarity sphere of worlds that is centred on actuality. The paper offers three counterexamples to approaches of this type and argues that they lead to insurmountable difficulties. I conclude that what contextualists (and Subject-Sensitive Invariantists) have traditionally called the ‘epistemic standards’ of a given context C cannot be explicated in (...)
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  25. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2009). Knowledge and Presuppositions. Mind 118 (470):241 - 294.
    The paper explicates a new way to model the context-sensitivity of 'knows', namely a way that suggests a close connection between the content of 'knows' in a context C and what is pragmatically presupposed in C. After explicating my new approach in the first half of the paper and arguing that it is explanatorily superior to standard accounts of epistemic contextualism, the paper points, in its second half, to some interesting new features of the emerging account, such as its compatibility (...)
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  26. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2008). The Indexicality of 'Knowledge'. Philosophical Studies 138 (1):29 - 53.
    Epistemic contextualism—the view that the content of the predicate ‘know’ can change with the context of utterance—has fallen into considerable disrepute recently. Many theorists have raised doubts as to whether ‘know’ is context-sensitive, typically basing their arguments on data suggesting that ‘know’ behaves semantically and syntactically in a way quite different from recognised indexicals such as ‘I’ and ‘here’ or ‘flat’ and ‘empty’. This paper takes a closer look at three pertinent objections of this kind, viz. at what I call (...)
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  27. Kirstin Borgerson (2011). Amending and Defending Critical Contextual Empiricism. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):435-449.
    In Science as Social Knowledge in 1990 and The Fate of Knowledge in 2002, Helen Longino develops an epistemological theory known as Critical Contextual Empiricism (CCE). Knowledge production, she argues, is an active, value-laden practice, evidence is context dependent and relies on background assumptions, and science is a social inquiry that, under certain conditions, produces social knowledge with contextual objectivity. While Longino’s work has been generally well-received, there have been a number of criticisms of CCE raised in the philosophical literature (...)
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  28. Yves Bouchard, Epistemic Closure in Context.
    The general principle of epistemic closure stipulates that epistemic properties are transmissible through logical means. According to this principle, an epistemic operator, say ε, should satisfy any valid scheme of inference, such as: if ε(p entails q), then ε(p) entails ε(q). The principle of epistemic closure under known entailment (ECKE), a particular instance of epistemic closure, has received a good deal of attention since the last thirty years or so. ECKE states that: if one knows that p entails q, and (...)
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  29. Michael S. Brady (1998). Can Epistemic Contextualism Avoid the Regress Problem? Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):317-328.
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  30. Elke Brendel (2005). Why Contextualists Cannot Know They Are Right: Self-Refuting Implications of Contextualism. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 20 (2):38-55.
    Conversational contextualism in epistemology is characterized by four main theses: 1. the indexicality of knowledge claims thesis; 2. the attributor contextualism thesis; 3. the conversational contextualism thesis, and 4. the main thesis of contextualism according to which a knowledge claim can be true in one context and false in another context in which more stringent standards for knowledge are operant. It is argued that these theses taken together generate problems for contextualism. In particular, it is shown that there is no (...)
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  31. Elke Brendel & Christoph Jäger (2004). Contextualist Approaches to Epistemology: Problems and Prospects. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):143 - 172.
    In this paper we survey some main arguments for and against epistemological contextualism. We distinguish and discuss various kinds of contextualism, such as attributer contextualism (the most influential version of which is semantic, conversational, or radical contextualism); indexicalism; proto-contextualism; Wittgensteinian contextualism; subject, inferential, or issue contextualism; epistemic contextualism; and virtue contextualism. Starting with a sketch of Dretskes Relevant Alternatives Theory and Nozicks Tracking Account of Knowledge, we reconstruct the history of various forms of contextualism and the ways contextualists try to (...)
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  32. Ingo Brigandt (2010). Beyond Reduction and Pluralism: Toward an Epistemology of Explanatory Integration in Biology. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311.
    The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties-a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena are always more fundamental in explanations, I argue that the particular combination of disciplines and theoretical approaches needed to address a complex biological problem and which among them is explanatorily more fundamental varies with the problem pursued. (...)
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  33. Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.) (2012). Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press.
    As a result, knowledge ascriptions are a central topic of research in both philosophy and science. In this collection of new essays on knowledge ascriptions, world class philosophers offer novel approaches to this long standing topic.
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  34. A. Brueckner (2005). Review: Knowledge and Lotteries. [REVIEW] Mind 114 (453):160-165.
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  35. A. Brueckner & C. T. Buford (2010). Reply to Baumann on Factivity and Contextualism. Analysis 70 (3):486-489.
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  36. Anthony Brueckner (1994). The Shifting Content of Knowledge Attributions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1):123-126.
    In "Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions," Keith DeRose defends a contextualist theory of knowledge.' He claims that his theory is superior to some earlier "relevant alternatives" theories in respect of its proper handling of issues concerning the meaning of knowledge attributions. I think that some of DeRose's key claims on this score are mistaken.
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  37. Christopher Buford (2009). Contextualism, Closure, and the Knowledge Account of Assertion. Journal of Philosophical Research 34:111-121.
    This paper argues that Epistemic Contextualism, Knowledge Closure, and the Knowledge Account of Assertion are inconsistent. The argument is developed by considering an objection to Contextualism that is unsuccessful. Some Contextualist responses are canvassed and rejected. Finally, it is argued that an analogue of the inconsistency arises for those who accept that justification is closed under known entailment.
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  38. Peter M. Burkholder (1968). Knowing in the Strong Sense. Tulane Studies in Philosophy 17:1-12.
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  39. J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson (2015). On the Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle. Erkenntnis 80 (1):1-13.
    In this paper we present two distinctly epistemological puzzles that arise for one who aspires to defend some plausible version of the precautionary principle. The first puzzle involves an application of contextualism in epistemology; and the second puzzle concerns the task of defending a plausible version of the precautionary principle that would not be invalidated by de minimis.
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  40. Hector-Neri Castañeda (1968). On the Logic of Attributions of Self-Knowledge to Others. Journal of Philosophy 65 (15):439-456.
  41. Matthew Chrisman (2007). From Epistemic Contextualism to Epistemic Expressivism. Philosophical Studies 135 (2):225 - 254.
    In this paper, I exploit the parallel between epistemic contextualism and metaethical speaker-relativism to argue that a promising way out of two of the primary problems facing contextualism is one already explored in some detail in the ethical case – viz. expressivism. The upshot is an argument for a form of epistemic expressivism modeled on a familiar form of ethical expressivism. This provides a new nondescriptivist option for understanding the meaning of knowledge attributions, which arguably better captures the normative nature (...)
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  42. Stewart Cohen (2005). Knowledge, Speaker and Subject. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):199–212.
    I contrast two solutions to the lottery paradox concerning knowledge: contextualism and subject-sensitive invariantism. I defend contextualism against an objection that it cannot explain how 'knows' and its cognates function inside propositional attitude reports. I then argue that subject-sensitive invariantism fails to provide a satisfactory resolution of the paradox.
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  43. Stewart Cohen (2000). Contextualismo y escepticismo. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):113-126.
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  44. Stewart Cohen (1987). Knowledge, Context, and Social Standards. Synthese 73 (1):3 - 26.
    This paper defends the view that standards, which are typically social in nature, play a role in determining whether a subject has knowledge. While the argument focuses on standards that pertain to reasoning, I also consider whether there are similar standards for memory and perception.Ultimately, I argue that the standards are context sensitive and, as such, we must view attributions of knowledge as indexical. I exploit similarities between this view and a version of the relevant alternatives reply to skepticism in (...)
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  45. Linguistic Basis Contextualism (2004). Special Issue: Contextualism in Epistemology and Beyond. Philosophical Studies 119:343-344.
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  46. Joseph Cruz, Contextualism and the Neglected Question of Context.
    A satisfactory contextualist theory of knowledge must provide an account of how knowledge varies across contexts. There are three contextualist proposals for developing such an account. This paper demonstrates that all of them are unacceptable. Contextualists have therefore failed to provide a satisfactory theory of knowledge.
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  47. Zvonimir Čuljak & Dragana Sekulić (2013). Knowledge Attributions and the Psychology of Reasoning: A Case Against Contextualism. Prolegomena 12 (2):381-412.
    Epistemic contextualism in the works of S. Cohen, K. DeRose, D. Lewis and others amounts to the semantic thesis that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions or denials vary according to the contextually shifting standards for knowledge attributions and to the indexical character of the predicate “knows”. This semantic variation is primarily due to the pragmatic features of the attributor context, depending on “what is at stake” for the attributor. In this paper contextualism is confronted with some invariantist objections. These (...)
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  48. Wayne A. Davis (2015). Knowledge Claims and Context: Belief. Philosophical Studies 172 (2):399-432.
    The use of ‘S knows p’ varies from context to context. The contextualist theories of Cohen, Lewis, and DeRose explain this variation in terms of semantic hypotheses: ‘S knows p’ is indexical in meaning, referring to features of the ascriber’s context like salience, interests, and stakes. The linguistic evidence against contextualism is extensive. I maintain that the contextual variation of knowledge claims results from pragmatic factors. One is variable strictness :395–438, 2007). In addition to its strict use, ‘S knows p’ (...)
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  49. Wayne A. Davis (2007). Knowledge Claims and Context: Loose Use. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 132 (3):395 - 438.
    There is abundant evidence of contextual variation in the use of “S knows p.” Contextualist theories explain this variation in terms of semantic hypotheses that refer to standards of justification determined by “practical” features of either the subject’s context (Hawthorne & Stanley) or the ascriber’s context (Lewis, Cohen, & DeRose). There is extensive linguistic counterevidence to both forms. I maintain that the contextual variation of knowledge claims is better explained by common pragmatic factors. I show here that one is variable (...)
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  50. Wayne A. Davis (2005). Contextualist Theories of Knowledge. Acta Analytica 20 (1):29-42.
    Contextualist theories of knowledge offer a semantic hypothesis to explain the observed contextual variation in what people say they know, and the difficulty people have resolving skeptical paradoxes. Subject or speaker relative versions make the truth conditions of “S knows that p” depend on the standards of either the knower’s context (Hawthorne and Stanley) or those of the speaker’s context (Cohen and DeRose). Speaker contextualism avoids objections to subject contextualism, but is implausible in light of evidence that “know” does not (...)
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