Episteme 11 (3):245-260 (2014)

Blake Roeber
University of Notre Dame
Contextualists and pragmatists agree that knowledge-denying sentences are contextually variable, in the sense that a knowledge-denying sentence might semantically express a false proposition in one context and a true proposition in another context, without any change in the properties traditionally viewed as necessary for knowledge. Minimalists deny both pragmatism and contextualism, and maintain that knowledge-denying sentences are not contextually variable. To defend their view from cases like DeRose and Stanley's high stakes bank case, minimalists like Patrick Rysiew, Jessica Brown, and Wayne Davis forward ‘warranted assertability maneuvers.’ The basic idea is that some knowledge-denying sentence seems contextually variable because we mistake what a speaker pragmatically conveys by uttering that sentence for what she literally says by uttering that sentence. In this paper, I raise problems for the warranted assertability maneuvers of Rysiew, Brown, and Davis, and then present a warranted assertability maneuver that should succeed if any warranted assertability maneuver will succeed. I then show how my warranted assertability maneuver fails, and how the problem with my warranted assertability maneuver generalizes to pragmatic responses in general. The upshot of my argument is that, in order to defend their view from cases like DeRose and Stanley's high stakes bank case, minimalists must prioritize the epistemological question whether the subjects in those cases know over linguistic questions about the pragmatics of various knowledge-denying sentences.
Keywords pragmatic encroachment  SSI  Grice, implicature
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/epi.2014.15
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Warranted Assertability Maneuvers and the Rules of Assertion.Leo Iacono - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):460-469.
Classic Invariantism, Relevance and Warranted Assertability Manœvres.Tim Black - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):328–336.
Contextualism and Warranted Assertion.Jim Stone - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):92–113.
WAMs: Why Worry?Peter Baumann - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (2):155 - 177.
Constructive Logic, Truth and Warranted Assertability.Greg Restall - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (205):474-483.
Contextualism and Warranted Assertibility Manoeuvres.Jessica Brown - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (3):407 - 435.
Wright Back to Dretske, or Why You Might as Well Deny Knowledge Closure.Marc Alspector-Kelly - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):570-611.
Contextualism, Skepticism and Warranted Assertibility Manoeuvres.Duncan Pritchard - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism. Cambridge MA: Mit Press. pp. 85-104.
What Assertion Doesn't Show.Conor McHugh - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):407-429.
Some Worries for Would-Be WAMmers.Adam Leite - 2005 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):101-126.


Added to PP index

Total views
173 ( #57,890 of 2,432,200 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
34 ( #23,486 of 2,432,200 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes