Knowledge-wh and the problem of convergent knowledge

Call knowledge where so-and-so, knowledge who so-and-so, etc., knowledge-wh. The reductive view says that knowledge-wh reduces to the two-place knowledge relation Ksp. Schaffer argues that this view has no viable response to the problem of convergent knowledge: how can a knowing-wh ascription be reduced to a Ksp ascription if a second knowing-wh ascription intuitively inequivalent to the first can be reduced to the same Ksp ascription? Instead he suggests that knowledge-wh be understood as a three-place knowledge relation Kspq, where q is a contextually salient contrast proposition. I argue firstly that once we realise that wh-questions can have more than one true answer, the reductivist has an obvious response to this problem. Secondly, I pose a revenge problem for Schaffer’s contrastivist alternative: how can a knowing-wh ascription be reduced to a Kspq ascription if a second knowing-wh ascription intuitively equivalent to the first can be reduced to a distinct Kspq ascription?
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2009.00251.x
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Jonathan Schaffer (2007). Knowing the Answer. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):383-403.

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