In James R. Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 71-95 (2014)

Nat Hansen
University of Reading
This paper concerns the philosophical significance of a choice about how to design the context shifting experiments used by contextualists and anti-intellectualists: Should contexts be judged jointly, with contrast, or separately, without contrast? Findings in experimental psychology suggest (1) that certain contextual features are more difficult to evaluate when considered separately, and there are reasons to think that one feature--stakes or importance--that interests contextualists and anti-intellectualists is such a difficult to evaluate attribute, and (2) that joint evaluation of contexts can yield judgments that are more reflective and rational in certain respects. With those two points in mind, a question is raised about what source of evidence provides better support for philosophical theories of how contextual features affect knowledge ascriptions and evidence: Should we prefer evidence consisting of "ordinary" judgments, or more reflective, perhaps more rational judgments? That question is answered in relation to different accounts of what such theories aim to explain, and it is concluded that evidence from contexts evaluated jointly should be an important source of evidence for contextualist and anti-intellectualist theories, a conclusion that is at odds with the methodology of some recent studies in experimental epistemology.
Keywords contextualism  anti-intellectualism  stakes  contrast  evidence  knowledge  experimental design
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions.Keith Derose - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (1):180-187.

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Citations of this work BETA

Stakes, Scales, and Skepticism.Kathryn Francis, Philip Beaman & Nat Hansen - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:427--487.
Epistemic Contextualism and Linguistic Behavior.Wesley Buckwalter - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. New York: Routledge. pp. 44-56.

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