Contextualism on a pragmatic, not a skeptical, footing

Acta Analytica 20 (2):26-37 (2005)
Abstract
Contextualism is supposed to explain why the following argument for skepticism seems plausible: (1) I don’t know that I am not a bodiless brain-in-a-vat (BIV); (2) If I know I have hands, then I know I am not a bodiless BIV; (3) Therefore, I do not know I have hands. Keith DeRose claims that (1) and (2) are “initially plausible.” I claim that (1) is initially plausible only because of an implicit argument that stands behind it; it is not intuitively plausible. The argument DeRose offers is based on the requirement of sensitivity, that is, on the idea that if you know something then you would not believe it if it were false. I criticize the sensitivity requirement thereby undercutting its support for (1) and the skeptical data that contextualism is meant to explain. While skepticism is not a plausible ground for contextualism, I argue that certain pragmatic considerations are. It’s plausible to think that to know something more evidence is required when more is at stake. The best way to handle skepticism is to criticize the arguments for it. We should not adopt contextualism as a means of accommodating skepticism even if there are other pragmatic reasons for being a contextualist about knowledge.
Keywords contextualism  intuitive  DeRose  pragmatic  safety  sensitivity  skepticism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12136-005-1020-4
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,106
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
Assertion, Knowledge, and Context.Keith DeRose - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (2):167-203.
Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions.Keith DeRose - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.
Recent Work on Radical Skepticism.Duncan Pritchard - 2002 - American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (3):215-257.
Context, Interest-Relativity, and Knowledge.Jason Stanley - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Possible Worlds of Doubt.Ron Wilburn - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):259-277.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

33 ( #156,310 of 2,171,691 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,424 of 2,171,691 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums