Contextualist approaches to epistemology: Problems and prospects

Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):143 - 172 (2004)
Abstract
In this paper we survey some main arguments for and against epistemological contextualism. We distinguish and discuss various kinds of contextualism, such as attributer contextualism (the most influential version of which is semantic, conversational, or radical contextualism); indexicalism; proto-contextualism; Wittgensteinian contextualism; subject, inferential, or issue contextualism; epistemic contextualism; and virtue contextualism. Starting with a sketch of Dretske's Relevant Alternatives Theory and Nozick's Tracking Account of Knowledge, we reconstruct the history of various forms of contextualism and the ways contextualists try to handle some notorious epistemological quandaries, especially skepticism and the lottery paradox. Then we outline the most important problems that contextualist theories face, and give overviews of their criticisms and defenses as developed in this issue.
Keywords contextualism  epistemic closure  skepticism  lottery paradox  invariantism
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-004-0489-3
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Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.

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