David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Contextualism in epistemology is the thesis that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions are context-sensitive, where facts about both the subject's context and the attributor's context are relevant. This view allows for two persons, say, Jones and Wilson, both to be speaking truly when Jones says of Smith at time t 'Smith knows p', for some proposition p, and Wilson says of Smith at time t 'Smith doesn't know p', for the same proposition p. The explanation offered is that Jones and Wilson do not share the same context, and hence different standards are appropriate for evaluating the truth of their claims. In this case, the epistemic facts concerning Smith satisfy the conditions determined by Jones's standards but do not satisfy those determined by Wilson's. As such, increasing attention is being directed to the potential contributions this view makes to the theory of knowledge---particularly its strategies in tackling some of the thornier issues of skepticism. Contextualists concede that skeptical claims are true in contexts where the standards for knowledge have been raised (often through the mentioning of a skeptical hypothesis); however, they also maintain that in ordinary contexts where the standards for knowledge are lower, the truth of our knowledge attributions is preserved. In other words, skeptics cannot, on this view, claim that our ordinary knowledge attributions are false. Furthermore, contextualists explain the persuasive pull of skeptical arguments by appealing to our failure to recognize that a shift in context has occurred. The primary aim of my thesis, then, is to examine the specific contextualist positions advanced by David Lewis, Keith DeRose, and Stewart Cohen---the three most prominent endorsers of the view---as well as to address some of the more worrisome critiques of contextualism. My investigation focuses on assessing the plausibility of conceiving knowledge attributions as context-sensitive and on assessing the promise of this account for solving the problem of skepticism. Since the literature surrounding this issue is relatively new, my thesis not only advances the debate, but offers a guide to it as well
|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
Keith DeRose (2009). The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. 1. Oup Oxford.
Jason Stanley (2004). On the Linguistic Basis for Contextualism. Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):119-146.
Elke Brendel (2005). Why Contextualists Cannot Know They Are Right: Self-Refuting Implications of Contextualism. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 20 (2):38-55.
Dan Zeman (2010). Knowledge Attributions and Relevant Epistemic Standards. In Recanati François, Stojanovic Isidora & Villanueva Neftali (eds.), Context Dependence, Perpsective and Relativity. Mouton de Gruyter.
Dan Zeman (2010). Knowledge Attributions and Relevant Epistemic Standards. In François Recanati, Isidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva (eds.), Context-dependence, Perspective and Relativity. Mouton de Gruyter.
Kent Bach (2010). Knowledge in and Out of Context. In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O.’Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism. Mit Press. 105--36.
Keith DeRose (2006). "Bamboozled by Our Own Words": Semantic Blindness and Some Arguments Against Contextualism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):316 - 338.
Wayne A. Davis (2005). Contextualist Theories of Knowledge. Acta Analytica 20 (1):29-42.
Wesley Buckwalter (2010). Knowledge Isn't Closed on Saturday: A Study in Ordinary Language. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):395-406.
Matjaž Potrč & Vojko Strahovnik (2005). Justification in Context. Acta Analytica 20 (2):91-104.
John MacFarlane (2011). Relativism and Knowledge Attributions. In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge. 536--544.
Keith DeRose (2004). The Problem with Subject-Sensitive Invariantism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):346–350.
Stewart Cohen (1987). Knowledge, Context, and Social Standards. Synthese 73 (1):3 - 26.
Mylan Engel (2004). What's Wrong with Contextualism, and a Noncontextualist Resolution of the Skeptical Paradox. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):203-231.
Added to index2012-06-08
Total downloads4 ( #288,749 of 1,410,059 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #177,059 of 1,410,059 )
How can I increase my downloads?