Knowledge and cancelability

Synthese:1-9 (forthcoming)

Authors
Tammo Lossau
Johns Hopkins University
Abstract
Keith DeRose and Stewart Cohen object to the fallibilist strand of pragmatic invariantism regarding knowledge ascriptions that it is committed to non-cancelable pragmatic implications. I show that this objection points us to an asymmetry about which aspects of the conveyed content of knowledge ascriptions can be canceled: we can cancel those aspects that ascribe a lesser epistemic standing to the subject but not those that ascribe a better or perfect epistemic standing. This situation supports the infallibilist strand of pragmatic invariantism according to which knowledge semantically requires absolute certainty but this claim is often pragmatically weakened: it turns out that exactly those aspects of the conveyed content are cancelable that this view claims are pragmatic. I also argue that attributor contextualism and relativism do not have an alternative explanation of this phenomenon.
Keywords knowledge ascriptions  pragmatic invariantism  cancelability test
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02663-7
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References found in this work BETA

The Assessment Sensitivity of Knowledge Attributions.John MacFarlane - 2005 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 197--234.
Contextualism: An Explanation and Defense.Keith DeRose - 1998 - In J. Greco & E. Sosa (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology. Blackwell. pp. 187--205.

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