Pluralism about Knowledge

In Annalisa Coliva & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), Epistemic Pluralism. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 171-198 (2017)
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Abstract

In this paper I consider the prospects for pluralism about knowledge, that is, the view that there is a plurality of knowledge relations. After a brief overview of some views that entail a sort of pluralism about knowledge, I focus on a particular kind of knowledge pluralism I call standards pluralism. Put roughly, standards pluralism is the view that one never knows anything simpliciter. Rather, one knows by this-or-that epistemic standard. Because there is a plurality of epistemic standards, there is a plurality of knowledge relations. In §1 I argue that one can construct an impressive case for standards pluralism. In §2 I clarify the relationship between standards pluralism, epistemic contextualism and epistemic relativism. In §3 I argue that standards pluralism faces a serious objection. The gist of the objection is that standards pluralism is incompatible with plausible claims about the normative role of knowledge. In §4 I finish by sketching the form that a standards pluralist response to this objection might take.

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Robin McKenna
University of Liverpool

Citations of this work

On Pluralism and Conceptual Engineering: Introduction and Overview.Delia Belleri - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-19.
Against Epistemic Absolutism.Changsheng Lai - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3945-3967.
Relativism and Conservatism.Alexander Dinges - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):757-772.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an Uncertain World.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Harvard University Press.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

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