Epistemic contextualism and the semantics-pragmatics distinction

Synthese 155 (1):99 - 125 (2007)
Contextualism, in its standard form, is the view that the truth conditions of sentences of the form ‘S knows that P’ vary according to the context in which they are uttered. One possible objection to contextualism appeals to what Keith DeRose calls a warranted assertability maneuver (or WAM), according to which it is not our knowledge sentences themselves that have context-sensitive truth conditions, but what is pragmatically conveyed by the use of such sentences. Thus, proponents of WAMs argue, the context sensitivity of knowledge attributions is not a semantic phenomenon but a pragmatic one. I examine a number of WAMs and show that each (i) is seriously flawed, or (ii) undercuts standard contextualism if we hold a minimalist conception of semantic content. I propose an alternative form of contextualism that accommodates minimalism and is immune to the second type of WAM, and show that this new form of contextualism shares the virtues of standard contextualism.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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: 23,209
External links
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
John Perry (2009). Reference and Reflexivity. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Geoff Pynn (2015). Pragmatic Contextualism. Metaphilosophy 46 (1):26-51.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

92 ( #50,416 of 1,941,073 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

19 ( #34,298 of 1,941,073 )

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.