Contextualism, invariantism and semantic blindness

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):639-657 (2009)
Epistemic contextualism, many critics argue, entails that ordinary speakers are blind to the fact that knowledge claims have context-sensitive truth conditions. This attribution of blindness, critics add, seriously undermines contextualism. I show that this criticism and, in general, discussions about the error theory entailed by contextualism, greatly underestimates the complexity and diversity of the data about ordinary speakers? inter-contextual judgments, as well as the range of explanatory moves that are open to both invariantists and contextualists concerning such judgments. Contextualism does entail that some speakers suffer from semantic blindness; however, at its roots, this blindness concerns not the context-sensitivity of knowledge claims, but the question whether knowledge sentences possess context-independent truth conditions. I argue that this blindness should not be deemed problematic, but that invariantism entails an error theory that is, by comparison, much more troubling
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Kent Bach (1994). Conversational Impliciture. Mind and Language 9 (2):124-162.
    Kent Bach (2005). The Emperor's New 'Knows'. In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. 51--89.
    Keith DeRose (1992). Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.
    Keith DeRose (1995). Solving the Skeptical Problem. Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.

    View all 18 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    25 ( #58,706 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,743 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.