David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 61 (2/3):203 - 231 (2004)
Skeptics try to persuade us of our ignorance with arguments like the following: 1. I don't know that I am not a handless brain-in-a-vat [BIV]. 2. If I don't know that I am not a handless BIV, then I don't know that I have hands. Therefore, 3. I don't know that I have hands. The BIV argument is valid, its premises are intuitively compelling, and yet, its conclusion strikes us as a absurd. Something has to go, but what? Contextualists contend that an adequate solution to the skeptical problem must: (i) retain epistemic closure, (ii) explain the intuitive force of skeptical arguments by explaining why their premises initially seem so compelling, and (iii) account for the truth of our commonsense judgment that we do possess lots of ordinary knowledge. Contextualists maintain that the key to such a solution is recognizing that the semantic standards for 'knows' vary from context to context such that in skeptical contexts the skeptic's premises are true and so is her conclusion; but in ordinary contexts, her conclusion is false and so is her first premise. Despite its initial attractiveness, the contextualist solution comes at a significant cost, for contextualism has many counterintuitive results. After presenting the contextualist solution, I identify a number of these costs. I then offer a noncontextualist solution that meets the adequacy constraint identified above, while avoiding the costs associated with contextualism. Hence, one of the principal reasons offered for adopting a contextualist theory of knowledge -- its supposedly unique ability to adequately resolve the skeptical problem -- is undermined.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mylan Engel (2004). What's Wrong with Contextualism, and a Noncontextualist Resolution of the Skeptical Paradox. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):203-231.
Michael Hughes (2013). Problems for Contrastive Closure: Resolved and Regained. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):577-590.
Bruce Russell (2005). Contextualism on a Pragmatic, Not a Skeptical, Footing. Acta Analytica 20 (2):26-37.
Jay Newhard (2012). The Argument From Skepticism for Contextualism. Philosophia 40 (3):563-575.
Gilbert Scharifi (2004). Contextualism and the Skeptic: Comments on Engel. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):233 - 244.
Jonathan L. Kvanvig (2007). Contextualism, Contrastivism, Relevant Alternatives, and Closure. Philosophical Studies 134 (2):131-140.
Christopher John Robichaud, Precarious Knowledge: Assessing Contextualist Strategies in Epistemology.
John Greco (2007). External World Skepticism. Philosophy Compass 2 (4):625–649.
Bryan Frances (2005). When a Skeptical Hypothesis is Live. Noûs 39 (4):559–595.
Andrej Ule (2004). Scepticism, Context and Modal Reasoning. Acta Analytica 19 (33):9-30.
Krista Lawlor (2005). Living Without Closure. Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):25-50.
Tim Black (2002). RELEVANT ALTERNATIVES AND THE SHIFTING STANDARDS OF KNOWLEDGE. Southwest Philosophy Review 18 (1):23-32.
Bruce Russell (2004). How to Be an Anti-Skeptic and a Noncontextualist. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):245 - 255.
Garrett Pendergraft, Fundamentalist Contextualist Compatibilism: A Response to the Consequence Argument.
Keith DeRose (2006). "Bamboozled by Our Own Words": Semantic Blindness and Some Arguments Against Contextualism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):316 - 338.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads4 ( #251,104 of 1,098,129 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #283,807 of 1,098,129 )
How can I increase my downloads?