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  1. Reducing Contrastive Knowledge.Michael Cohen - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    According to one form of epistemic contrastivism, due to Jonathan Schaffer, knowledge is not a binary relation between an agent and a proposition, but a ternary relation between an agent, a proposition, and a context-basing question. In a slogan: to know is to know the answer to a question. I argue, first, that Schaffer-style epistemic contrastivism can be semantically represented in inquisitive dynamic epistemic logic, a recent implementation of inquisitive semantics in the framework of dynamic epistemic logic; second, that within (...)
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  2. Why Understanding-Why is Contrastive.Miguel Egler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Contrastivism about interrogative understanding is the view that ‘S understands why p’ posits a three-place epistemic relation between a subject S, a fact p, and an alternative to p, q. This thesis stands in stark opposition to the natural idea that a subject S can be said to understand why p simpliciter. I argue that contrastivism offers the best explanation for the fact that evaluations of the form ‘S understands why p’ vary depending on the alternatives to p under consideration. (...)
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  3. The Concept of Knowledge.Stefan Tolksdorf (ed.) - forthcoming - Walter de Gruyter.
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  4. A Contrastivist Response to Gerken’s Arguments for False Positives.Giorgio Volpe - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-12.
    In this paper, I defend epistemological contrastivism—the view that propositional knowledge is a three-place, contrastive relation between an agent, a proposition and a contrast term—against two a priori arguments recently offered by Mikkel Gerken for the conclusion that intuitive judgements exhibiting a contrast effect on knowledge ascriptions are false positives. I show that the epistemic argument for false positives begs the question against contrastivism by assuming the independently implausible claim that knowledge of a contrastive proposition always presupposes knowledge of a (...)
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  5. What the Metasemantics of "Know" is Not.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (1):69-82.
    Epistemic contextualism in the style of Lewis (1996) maintains that ascriptions of knowledge to a subject vary in truth with the alternatives that can be eliminated by the subject’s evidence in a context. Schaffer (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2015), Schaffer and Knobe (2012), and Schaffer and Szabo ́ (2014) hold that the question under discussion or QUD always determines these alternatives in a context. This paper shows that the QUD does not perform such a role for "know" and uses this (...)
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  6. Knowing and Checking: An Epistemological Investigation.Guido Melchior - 2019 - New York City, New York, USA: Routledge.
    This book is primarily about checking and only derivatively about knowing. Checking is a very common concept for describing a subject’s epistemic goals and actions. Surprisingly, there has been no philosophical attention paid to the notion of checking. In Part I, I develop a sensitivity account of checking. To be more explicit, I analyze the internalist and externalist components of the epistemic action of checking which include the intentions of the checking subject and the necessary externalist features of the method (...)
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  7. Knowing the Facts: A Contrastivist Account of the Referential Opacity of Knowledge Attributions.Giorgio Volpe - 2018 - In Annalisa Coliva, Paolo Leonardi & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Eva Picardi on Language, Analysis and History. Cham: Palgrave. pp. 401-420.
    The view that propositional knowledge is knowledge of facts is prima facie rather appealing, especially for realistically minded philosophers, but it is difficult to square with the referential opacity of knowledge attributions of the form ‘S knows that p’. For how could Lois Lane know that Superman can fly and ignore that Clark Kent can fly if knowledge is a two-place relation between an agent and a fact and the fact that Superman can fly just is the fact that Clark (...)
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  8. Knowledge-The and Knowledge-Wh.Meghan Masto - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):295-306.
    In this paper, I offer a novel account of knowledge ascriptions with concealed questions as complements. I begin by discussing various theories of knowledge-the proposed in the literature and raising some problems for each. I then present and explain my positive proposal, arguing that knowledge ascriptions with concealed questions as complements say that the subject stands in the knowledge relation to a question. I claim that this view avoids the problems facing other accounts and offers a unified account of knowledge-the, (...)
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  9. Contrastive Self-Knowledge and the McKinsey Paradox.Sarah Sawyer - 2015 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Externalism, Self-Knowledge, and Skepticism: New Essays. Cambridge, UK: pp. 75-93.
    In this paper I argue first, that a contrastive account of self-knowledge and the propositional attitudes entails an anti-individualist account of propositional attitude concepts, second, that the final account provides a solution to the McKinsey paradox, and third, that the account has the resources to explain why certain anti-skeptical arguments fail.
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  10. Knowing the Answer to a Loaded Question.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2015 - Theoria 81 (2):97-125.
    Many epistemologists have been attracted to the view that knowledge-wh can be reduced to knowledge-that. An important challenge to this, presented by Jonathan Schaffer, is the problem of “convergent knowledge”: reductive accounts imply that any two knowledge-wh ascriptions with identical true answers to the questions embedded in their wh-clauses are materially equivalent, but according to Schaffer, there are counterexamples to this equivalence. Parallel to this, Schaffer has presented a very similar argument against binary accounts of knowledge, and thereby in favour (...)
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  11. A Relevant Alternatives Solution to the Bootstrapping and Self-Knowledge Problems.Darren Bradley - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (7):379-393.
    The main argument given for relevant alternatives theories of knowledge has been that they answer scepticism about the external world. I will argue that relevant alternatives also solve two other problems that have been much discussed in recent years, a) the bootstrapping problem and b) the apparent conflict between semantic externalism and armchair self-knowledge. Furthermore, I will argue that scepticism and Mooreanism can be embedded within the relevant alternatives framework.
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  12. The Contrast‐Insensitivity of Knowledge Ascriptions.Samuel C. Rickless - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):533-555.
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  13. Contrastive Self-Knowledge.Sarah Sawyer - 2014 - Social Epistemology 28 (2):139-152.
    In this paper, I draw on a recent account of perceptual knowledge according to which knowledge is contrastive. I extend the contrastive account of perceptual knowledge to yield a contrastive account of self-knowledge. Along the way, I develop a contrastive account of the propositional attitudes (beliefs, desires, regrets and so on) and suggest that a contrastive account of the propositional attitudes implies an anti-individualist account of propositional attitude concepts (the concepts of belief, desire, regret, and so on).
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  14. Epistemic Comparativism: A Contextualist Semantics for Knowledge Ascriptions.Jonathan Schaffer & Zoltan Gendler Szabo - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):491-543.
    Knowledge ascriptions seem context sensitive. Yet it is widely thought that epistemic contextualism does not have a plausible semantic implementation. We aim to overcome this concern by articulating and defending an explicit contextualist semantics for ‘know,’ which integrates a fairly orthodox contextualist conception of knowledge as the elimination of the relevant alternatives, with a fairly orthodox “Amherst” semantics for A-quantification over a contextually variable domain of situations. Whatever problems epistemic contextualism might face, lack of an orthodox semantic implementation is not (...)
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  15. Ethics and Contrastivism.Justin Snedegar - 2014 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A contrastive theory of some concept holds that the concept in question only applies or fails to apply relative to a set of alternatives. Contrastivism has been applied to a wide range of philosophically important topics, including several topics in ethics. Contrastivism about reasons, for example, holds that whether some consideration is […].
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  16. The Semantics of Knowledge Attributions: A Defence of Moderate Invariantism.Leonid Tarasov - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Manchester
    This work has four aims: (i) to provide an overview of the current debate about the semantics of knowledge attributions, i.e. sentences of the form ⌜S knows that Φ⌝; (ii) to ground the debate in a single semantic-pragmatic framework; (iii) to identify a methodology for describing the semantics of knowledge attributions; (iv) to go some way towards describing the semantics of knowledge attributions in light of this methodology, and in particular to defend moderate invariantist semantics against its main current rivals. (...)
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  17. 4 Contrastive Belief.Martijn Blaauw - 2013 - In Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 39--88.
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  18. 3 Contrastive Bayesiansim.Branden Fitelson - 2013 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 39--64.
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  19. Epistemic Focal Bias.Mikkel Gerken - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):41 - 61.
    This paper defends strict invariantism against some philosophical and empirical data that have been taken to compromise it. The defence involves a combination of a priori philosophical arguments and empirically informed theorizing. The positive account of the data is an epistemic focal bias account that draws on cognitive psychology. It involves the assumption that, owing to limitations of the involved cognitive resources, intuitive judgments about knowledge ascriptions are generated by processing only a limited part of the available information?the part that (...)
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  20. Problems for Contrastive Closure: Resolved and Regained.Michael Hughes - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):577-590.
    The standard contextualist solution to the skeptical paradox is intended to provide a way to retain epistemic closure while avoiding the excessive modesty of radical skepticism and the immodesty of Moorean dogmatism. However, contextualism’s opponents charge that its solution suffers from epistemic immodesty comparable to Moorean dogmatism. According to the standard contextualist solution, all contexts where an agent knows some ordinary proposition to be true are contexts where she also knows that the skeptical hypotheses are false. It has been hoped (...)
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  21. A Counterexample to the Contrastive Account of Knowledge.Jason Rourke - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):637-643.
    Many epistemologists treat knowledge as a binary relation that holds between a subject and a proposition. The contrastive account of knowledge developed by Jonathan Schaffer maintains that knowledge is a ternary, contrastive relation that holds between a subject, a proposition, and a set of contextually salient alternative propositions the subject’s evidence must eliminate. For the contrastivist, it is never simply the case that S knows that p; in every case of knowledge S knows that p rather than q. This paper (...)
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  22. Defending Contrastivism.Martijn Blaauw - 2012 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1):59-64.
    One of the most interesting anti-skeptical theories that has been proposed in the recent literature is epistemological contrastivism. In this paper, I answer some important objections to contrastivism that have been put forward by Steven Luper. The upshot of this paper is that Luper’s objections fail to damage contrastivism.
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  23. Introduction : Contrastivism in Philosophy.Martijn Blaauw - 2012 - In Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
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  24. Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives.Martijn Blaauw (ed.) - 2012 - Routledge.
    Contrastivism can be applied to a variety of problems within philosophy, and as such, it can be coherently seen as a unified movement. This volume brings together state-of-the-art research on the contrastive treatment of philosophical concepts and questions, including knowledge, belief, free will, moral luck, Bayesian confirmation theory, causation, and explanation.
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  25. Contrastive Belief.Martijn Blaauw - 2012 - In Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
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  26. Contrastivism and Skepticism.Steven Luper - 2012 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1):51-58.
    Recently, Jonathan Schaffer has defended a contrastivist analysis of knowledge. By appealing to his account, he has attempted to steer a path between skepticism and Moore-style antiskepticism: much like sensitivity theorists and contextualists, he offers significant concessions to, but ultimately rejects, both. In this essay I suggest that in fact Schaffer ends up succumbing to skepticism.
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  27. Contrastive Knowledge: Reply to Baumann.Jonathan Schaffer - 2012 - In Stefan Tolksdorf (ed.), The Concept of Knowledge. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 411-24.
    Baumann (2008a) raises three main concerns for epistemic contrastivism. These lead him to a more complicated re-conception of knowledge, involving varying numbers of argument places for varying sorts of arguments. I will argue that these complications are unneeded. The more elegant and uniform contrastive treatment can resolve all of Baumann’s concerns, in a straightforward way.
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  28. Contrastive Knowledge Surveyed.Jonathan Schaffer & Joshua Knobe - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):675-708.
    Suppose that Ann says, “Keith knows that the bank will be open tomorrow.” Her audience may well agree. Her knowledge ascription may seem true. But now suppose that Ben—in a different context—also says “Keith knows that the bank will be open tomorrow.” His audience may well disagree. His knowledge ascription may seem false. Indeed, a number of philosophers have claimed that people’s intuitions about knowledge ascriptions are context sensitive, in the sense that the very same knowledge ascription can seem true (...)
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  29. Free Contrastivism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
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  30. Contextualism, Contrastivism, and X-Phi Surveys.Keith DeRose - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (1):81-110.
    I will here sharply oppose all the phases of the story Schaffer & Knobe tell. In Part 1 we will look at the supposed empirical case against standard contextualism, and in Part 2 we will investigate Schaffer & Knobe’s supposed empirical case for the superiority of contrastivism over standard contextualism.
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  31. Alternative Questions and Knowledge Attributions.Maria Aloni & Paul Égré - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):1-27.
    We discuss the 'problem of convergent knowledge', an argument presented by J. Schaffer in favour of contextualism about knowledge attributions, and against the idea that knowledge- wh can be simply reduced to knowledge of the proposition answering the question. Schaffer's argument centrally involves alternative questions of the form 'whether A or B'. We propose an analysis of these on which the problem of convergent knowledge does not arise. While alternative questions can contextually restrict the possibilities relevant for knowledge attributions, what (...)
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  32. Contrastive Explanations as Social Accounts.Kareem Khalifa - 2010 - Social Epistemology 24 (4):263-284.
    Explanatory contrastivists hold that we often explain phenomena of the form p rather than q. In this paper, I present a new, social‐epistemological model of contrastive explanation—accountabilism. Specifically, my view is inspired by social‐scientific research that treats explanations fundamentally as accounts; that is, communicative actions that restore one's social status when charged with questionable behaviour. After developing this model, I show how accountabilism provides a more comprehensive model of contrastive explanation than the causal models of contrastive explanation that are currently (...)
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  33. Contrastive Explanation and the 'Strong Programme' in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Jeff Kochan - 2010 - Social Studies of Science 40 (1):127-44.
    In this essay, I address a novel criticism recently levelled at the Strong Programme by Nick Tosh and Tim Lewens. Tosh and Lewens paint Strong Programme theorists as trading on a contrastive form of explanation. With this, they throw valuable new light on the explanatory methods employed by the Strong Programme. However, as I shall argue, Tosh and Lewens run into trouble when they accuse Strong Programme theorists of unduly restricting the contrast space in which legitimate historical and sociological explanations (...)
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  34. Contrastivism and Lucky Questions.Kelly Becker - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (2):245-260.
    There’s something deeply right in the idea that knowledge requires an ability to discriminate truth from falsity. Failing to incorporate some version of the discrimination requirement into one’s epistemology generates cases of putative knowledge that are at best problematic. On the other hand, many theories that include a discrimination requirement thereby appear to entail violations of closure. This prima facie tension is resolved nicely in Jonathan Schaffer’s contrastivism, which I describe herein. The contrastivist take on relevant alternatives is implausible, however, (...)
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  35. Knowing the Answer Redux: Replies to Brogaard and Kallestrup.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):477-500.
    In "Knowing the Answer" I argued that knowledge-wh is question-relative. For example, to know when the movie starts is to know the answer p to the question Q of when the movie starts. Berit Brogaard and Jesper Kallestrup have each responded with insightful critiques of my argument, and novel accounts of knowledge-wh. I am grateful to them both for continuing the discussion in so thoughtful a way.
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  36. Contextualism and the Factivity Problem.Peter Baumann - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):580-602.
    Epistemological contextualism - the claim that the truth-value of knowledge-attributions can vary with the context of the attributor - has recently faced a whole series of objections. The most serious one, however, has not been discussed much so far: the factivity objection. In this paper, I explain what the objection is and present three different versions of the objection. I then show that there is a good way out for the contextualist. However, in order to solve the probleIn the contextualist (...)
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  37. Contrastivism Rather Than Something Else? On the Limits of Epistemic Contrastivism.Peter Baumann - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (2):189-200.
    One of the most recent trends in epistemology is contrastivism. It can be characterized as the thesis that knowledge is a ternary relation between a subject, a proposition known and a contrast proposition. According to contrastivism, knowledge attributions have the form “S knows that p, rather than q”. In this paper I raise several problems for contrastivism: it lacks plausibility for many cases of knowledge, is too relaxed concerning the third relatum, and overlooks a further relativity of the knowledge relation.
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  38. Problems for Sinnott-Armstrong's Moral Contrastivism.Peter Baumann - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):463–470.
    In his recent book Moral Skepticisms Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues in great detail for contrastivism with respect to justified moral belief and moral knowledge. I raise three questions concerning this view. First, how would Sinnott-Armstrong account for constraints on admissible contrast classes? Secondly, how would he deal with notorious problems concerning relevant reference classes? Finally, how can he account for basic features of moral agency? It turns out that the last problem is the most serious one for his account.
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  39. Contra Contrastivism.Martijn Blaauw - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):20-34.
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  40. Contrastivism in Epistemology.Martijn Blaauw - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):227 – 234.
    In this introduction to the special issue of Social Epistemology on epistemological contrastivism, I make some remarks on the history of contrastivism, describe three main versions of contrastivism, and offer a guide through the papers that compose this issue.
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  41. Contesting Pyrrhonian Contrastivism.Martijn Blaauw - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):471–477.
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  42. Knowing That P Rather Than Q.Bjørn Jespersen - 2008 - Sorites 20:125-134.
    I offer a two-tiered critique of epistemological contrastivism as developed by Jonathan Schaffer. First, I investigate the cornerstone of contrastivism, the notion of knowing the selected proposition p rather than the eliminated, or contrast, proposition q. Contrastivism imposes the ternicity constraint that the knowledge relation should span a knower and two propositions. However, contrastivism has yet to explain how to square this constraint with the required contrast between the selected and the eliminated propositions, and it is not immediately obvious how (...)
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  43. Contrastivism and Closure.Jonathan L. Kvanvig - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):247 – 256.
    This paper argues for a solution to a problem that contrastivism faces. The problem is that contrastivism cannot preserve closure, in spite of claims to the contrary by its defenders. The problem is explained and a response developed.
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  44. Cheap Knowledge and Easy Questions.Martin Montminy - 2008 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 77 (1):127-146.
    Contrastivism is the idea that knowledge is question-relative: to know is to be able to answer a contextually salient question. Constrastivism's main selling point is that it promises to respect ordinary speakers' judgments about knowledge claims made in various contexts. I show that contrastivism fails to fulfill this promise, and argue that the view I call epistemic pluralism does much better in this respect.
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  45. Undermining the Case for Contrastivism.Ram Neta - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):289 – 304.
    A number of philosophers have recently defended “contrastivist” theories of knowledge, according to which knowledge is a relation between at least the following three relata: a knower, a proposition, and a contrast set. I examine six arguments that Jonathan Schaffer has given for this thesis, and show that those arguments do not favour contrastivism over a rival view that I call “evidentiary relativism”. I then argue that evidentiary relativism accounts for more data than does contrastivism.
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  46. Contrastivism, Evidence, and Scepticism.Duncan Pritchard - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):305 – 323.
    I offer a critical treatment of the contrastivist response to the problem of radical scepticism. In particular, I argue that if contrastivism is understood along externalist lines then it is unnecessary, while if it is understood along internalist lines then it is intellectually dissatisfying. Moreover, I claim that a closer examination of the conditions under which it is appropriate to claim knowledge reveals that we can accommodate many of the intuitions appealed to by contrastivists without having to opt for this (...)
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  47. Knowledge in the Image of Assertion.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):1-19.
    How must knowledge be formed, if made in the image of assertion? That is, given that knowledge plays the normative role of governing what one may assert, what can be inferred about the structure of the knowledge relation from this role? I will argue that what one may assert is sensitive to the question under discussion, and conclude that what one knows must be relative to a question. In short, knowledge in the image of assertion is question-relative knowledge.
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  48. The Contrast-Sensitivity of Knowledge Ascriptions.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):235-245.
    Knowledge ascriptions are contrast-sensitive. One natural explanation for this is that the knowledge relation is contrastive ( s knows that p rather than q ). But can the binary view of knowledge ( s knows that p ) explain contrast-sensitivity? I review some of the linguistic data supporting contrast-sensitivity, and critique the three main binary explanations for contrast-sensitivity. I conclude that the contrast-sensitivity of knowledge ascriptions shows that knowledge is a contrastive relation.
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  49. A Contrastivist Manifesto.Walter Sinnott‐Armstrong - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):257 – 270.
    General contrastivism holds that all claims of reasons are relative to contrast classes. This approach applies to explanation (reasons why things happen), moral philosophy (reasons for action), and epistemology (reasons for belief), and it illuminates moral dilemmas, free will, and the grue paradox. In epistemology, contrast classes point toward an account of justified belief that is compatible with reliabilism and other externalisms. Contrast classes also provide a model for Pyrrhonian scepticism based on suspending belief about which contrast class is relevant. (...)
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  50. Contrastivism, Relevance Contextualism, and Meta-Skepticism. [REVIEW]Mark Timmons - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):802-810.
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