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