The Practical Origins of Epistemic Contextualism

Erkenntnis 78 (4):899-919 (2013)
Authors
Michael Hannon
Nottingham University
Abstract
This paper explores how the purpose of the concept of knowledge affects knowledge ascriptions in natural language. I appeal to the idea that the role of the concept of knowledge is to flag reliable informants, and I use this idea to illuminate and support contextualism about ‘knows’. I argue that practical pressures that arise in an epistemic state of nature provide an explanatory basis for a brand of contextualism that I call ‘practical interests contextualism’. I also answer some questions that contextualism leaves open, particularly why the concept of knowledge is valuable, why the word ‘knows’ exhibits context-variability, and why this term enjoys such widespread use. Finally, I show how my contextualist framework accommodates plausible ideas from two rival views: subject-sensitive invariantism and insensitive invariantism. This provides new support for contextualism and develops this view in a way that improves our understanding of the concept of knowledge.
Keywords contextualism  knowledge  practical explication  epistemology  Edward Craig
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-012-9426-z
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Studies in the Way of Words.H. Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Normative Scorekeeping.Robin McKenna - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):607-625.
Teleologies and the Methodology of Epistemology.Georgi Gardiner - 2015 - In David Henderson & John Greco (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 31-45.
How to Do Things with Knowledge Ascriptions.Mikkel Gerken - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):223-234.
Stabilizing Knowledge.Michael Hannon - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):116-139.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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