The pragmatics of pragmatic encroachment

Synthese 191 (8):1-24 (2014)
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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to defend Simple Modest Invariantism (SMI) about knowledge from the threat presented by pragmatic encroachment. Pragmatic encroachment is the view that practical circumstances are relevant in some way to the truth of knowledge ascriptions—and if this is true, it would entail the falsity of SMI. Drawing on Ross and Schroeder’s recent Reasoning Disposition account of belief, I argue that the Reasoning Disposition account, together with Grice’s Maxims, gives us an attractive pragmatic account of the connection between knowledge ascriptions and practical circumstances. This gives us the ability to explain away the data that is supposed to support pragmatic encroachment. Finally, I address three important objections to the view offered by giving a pragmatic account of when it is conversationally appropriate to cancel a conversational implicature, and discussing when sentences with true content can end up sounding false as well as cases where sentences with false content can end up sounding true

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Citations of this work

Moral Encroachment.Sarah Moss - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (2):177-205.
Full Belief and Loose Speech.Sarah Moss - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):255-291.
Updating as Communication.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):225-248.
Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Studies in the way of words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Elusive knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

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