Metaphilosophy > Experimental Philosophy > Experimental Philosophy: Epistemology > Experimental Philosophy: Contextualism and Invariantism
Edited by Joshua May (Monash University)
|Summary||Suppose Sally has good reason to believe that the bank will be open on Saturday. Many epistemologists have thought that she may know this when the stakes are low, but not when they are high. For example, if Sally will be evicted from her home if she doesn't get to the bank on Saturday to deposit a paycheck, then one might argue she doesn't know that the bank will be open. Perhaps she needs to aquire more evidence than normal in order to know.
Both invariantists and contextualists have tried to capture such cases, often based on the idea that this is clearly what we would ordinarily say about such cases. On some construals, these are empirical claims which can be further tests by rigorous experimental tools. Researchers have been producing data on ordinary judgments about such cases. Some test vignettes drawn directly from the literature, while others invent new cases to answer new questions that have arisen in light of the studies. The literature is currently in development, so naturally results are somewhat mixed thus far. One thing is clear, however, what epistemologists have thought many non-specialists would say about specific cases has not always been borne out.
|Key works||Early studies of knowledge attributions in connection with contextualism and invariantism, include: Buckwalter 2010, May et al 2010, and Feltz & Zarpentine 2010, with a major culmination in Schaffer & Knobe 2012. For a systematic, theoretical defense of contextualism in response to these studies, see DeRose 2011.|
|Introductions||Pinillos 2011 provides an excellent overview with a focus on contextualism and invariantism. Buckwalter 2012 and Beebe forthcoming are also useful, though less time is spent on these two theories.|
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