Metaphilosophy > Experimental Philosophy > Experimental Philosophy: Epistemology > Experimental Philosophy: Contextualism and Invariantism
Edited by Nat Hansen (University of Reading)
|Summary||Suppose Sally has good reason to believe that the bank will be open on Saturday. Many epistemologists have thought that she may know this when the stakes are low, but not when they are high. For example, if Sally will be evicted from her home if she doesn't get to the bank on Saturday to deposit a paycheck, then one might argue she doesn't know that the bank will be open. Perhaps she needs to aquire more evidence than normal in order to know. Both invariantists and contextualists have tried to capture such cases, often based on the idea that this is clearly what we would ordinarily say about such cases. On some construals, these are empirical claims which can be further tested by rigorous experimental tools. Researchers have been producing data on ordinary judgments about such cases. Some test vignettes drawn directly from the literature, while others invent new cases to answer new questions that have arisen in light of the studies. The literature is currently in development, and results are somewhat mixed: experiments have uncovered effects of changing context on knowledge ascriptions, but it is disputed whether those effects should be explained using contextualist or invariantist resources.|
|Key works||The "first wave" of experimental studies of knowledge attributions in connection with contextualism and invariantism include Buckwalter 2010, May et al 2010, Feltz & Zarpentine 2010, and Schaffer & Knobe 2012. DeRose 2011 offers a theoretical defense of contextualism in response to these studies. The "second wave" of experimental studies, which focus on "interest relative" invariantism, includes Pinillos 2012, Sripada & Stanley 2012, and Buckwalter & Schaffer 2015. Nat & Emmanuel 2013 focuses on contextualism and provides evidence of contextual effects on knowledge ascriptions.|
|Introductions||A good overview of the current state of the debate is Pinillos 2016.|
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