Contextualism, SSI and the factivity problem

Analysis 69 (3):431-438 (2009)
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There is an apparent problem stemming from the factivity of knowledge that seems to afflict both contextualism and subject-sensitive invariantism . 1 In this article, we will first explain how the problem arises for each theory, and then we will propose a uniform resolution.1. The factivity problem for contextualismLet K t stands for X knows _ at t. Let h stand for S has hands. According to contextualism, ‘K t’ is true as uttered in some ordinary conversational contexts. Let O be such a context. So we have ‘K t’ is true in O.Consider a demanding conversational context D . Let S* be a participant in D. We have ‘K t’ is not true in D.In prose: ‘S* knows at t that S has hands’ is not true in D. 2 , 3 Let us suppose that S* has a favourable epistemic status with respect to , as follows: ‘K t[S*,‘K t’ is true in O]’ is true in D. says that a certain sentence about S*'s epistemic status at t is true in D. S*'s epistemic status with respect to which proposition? A certain metalinguistic proposition concerning the truth in O of the sentence ‘K t’. That sentence in turn concerns S's epistemic status at t with respect to the proposition that S has hands. Got it? 4The factivity of ‘knows’ yields the following consequence : ‘K t’ is true in O → hThis metalinguistic factivity claim is licensed by the fact that any sentence of the ….



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Christopher Buford
University of Akron

References found in this work

Contextualism and the Factivity Problem.Peter Baumann - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):580-602.
The elusive virtues of contextualism.Anthony Brueckner - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (3):401-405.

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