Acta Analytica 28 (2):161-177 (2013)

Authors
Matjaz Potrc
University of Ljubljana
Terry Horgan
University of Arizona
Abstract
The semantic blindness objection to contextualism challenges the view that there is no incompatibility between (i) denials of external-world knowledge in contexts where radical-deception scenarios are salient, and (ii) affirmations of external-world knowledge in contexts where such scenarios are not salient. Contextualism allegedly attributes a gross and implausible form of semantic incompetence in the use of the concept of knowledge to people who are otherwise quite competent in its use; this blindness supposedly consists in wrongly judging that there is genuine conflict between claims of type (i) and type (ii). We distinguish two broad versions of contextualism: relativistic-content contextualism and categorical-content contextualism. We argue that although the semantic blindness objection evidently is applicable to the former, it does not apply to the latter. We describe a subtle form of conflict between claims of types (i) and (ii), which we call différance-based affirmatory conflict. We argue that people confronted with radical-deception scenarios are prone to experience a form of semantic myopia (as we call it): a failure to distinguish between différance-based affirmatory conflict and outright inconsistency. Attributing such semantic myopia to people who are otherwise competent with the concept of knowledge explains the bafflement about knowledge-claims that so often arises when radical-deception scenarios are made salient. Such myopia is not some crude form of semantic blindness at all; rather, it is an understandable mistake grounded in semantic competence itself: what we call a competence-based performance error
Keywords Epistemic contextualism  Semantic blindness objection  Cartesian scenarios  Relativistic-content contextualism  Categorical-content contextualism  Différance based affirmatory conflict  Competence based performance errors
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s12136-012-0164-2
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,339
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter Unger - 1975 - Oxford University Press.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Epistemic Contextualism, Semantic Blindness and Content Unawareness.André J. Abath - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):593 - 597.
Contextualism, Invariantism and Semantic Blindness.Martin Montminy - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):639-657.
The Excluded Middle: Semantic Minimalism Without Minimal Propositions. [REVIEW]Kent Bach - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):435–442.
Hold the Context Fixed, Vagueness Still Remains.Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough - 2010 - In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Oxford University Press. pp. 275--88.
How to Be a Contextualist.Claudia Bianchi - 2005 - Facta Philosophica 7 (2):261-272.
Contextualism and the Epistemological Enterprise.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):387-394.
Virtues, Social Roles, and Contextualism.Sarah Wright - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (1-2):95-114.
Indexical Contextualism and the Challenges From Disagreement.Carl Baker - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):107-123.
Contextualism and a Puzzle About Seeing.Ram Neta - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 134 (1):53-63.
Contextualizing Meaning Through Epistemology.Claudia Bianchi & Nicla Vassallo - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:7-11.
Contextualism.Claudia Bianchi - 2010 - Handbook of Pragmatics Online.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-05-14

Total views
54 ( #197,085 of 2,448,744 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #445,251 of 2,448,744 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes