Acta Analytica 20 (1):29-42 (2005)

Contextualist theories of knowledge offer a semantic hypothesis to explain the observed contextual variation in what people say they know, and the difficulty people have resolving skeptical paradoxes. Subject or speaker relative versions make the truth conditions of “S knows that p” depend on the standards of either the knower’s context (Hawthorne and Stanley) or those of the speaker’s context (Cohen and DeRose). Speaker contextualism avoids objections to subject contextualism, but is implausible in light of evidence that “know” does not behave like an indexical. I deepen and extend these criticisms in light of recent defenses by contextualists (including Ludlow). Another difficulty is that whether certain standards are salient or intended does not entail that they are the proper standards. A normative form of contextualism on which the truth of a knowledge claim depends on the proper standards for the context is more promising, but still unsatisfactory whether the view is speaker or subject relative. I defend alternative explanations for the observed linguistic and psychological data: a pragmatic account for some cases and a cognitive account for others. 1.
Keywords contextualism  epistemology  indexicals  normativity  pragmatics  skeptical paradoxes
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-005-1002-6
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
Contextualism, Skepticism, and the Structure of Reasons.Stewart Cohen - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:57-89.
Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions.Keith DeRose - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.

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Citations of this work BETA

Knowledge Claims and Context: Loose Use.Wayne A. Davis - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (3):395-438.
Knowledge Claims and Context: Belief.Wayne A. Davis - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):399-432.
WAMs: Why Worry?Peter Baumann - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (2):155 - 177.
On Nonindexical Contextualism.Wayne A. Davis - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):561-574.
Contextualism and Disagreement.Nikola Kompa - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):137-152.

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