Epistemic Contextualism, Epistemic Relativism and Disagreement

Abstract
In the recent philosophy of language literature there is a debate over whether contextualist accounts of the semantics of various terms can accommodate intuitions of disagreement in certain cases involving those terms. Relativists such as John MacFarlane have claimed that this motivates adopting a form of relativist semantics for these terms because the relativist can account for the same data as contextualists but doesn’t face this problem of disagreement (MacFarlane 2005, 2007 and 2009). In this paper I focus on the case of epistemic predicates and I argue that on a certain assumption about what is involved in assessing an utterance the epistemic contextualist can solve her problem of disagreement. This undercuts a motivation for epistemic relativism.
Keywords Contextualism  Relativism  Disagreement
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John MacFarlane (2007). Relativism and Disagreement. Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
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John K. Davis (2010). An Alternative to Relativism. Philosophical Topics 38 (2):17-37.
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