Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):245-255 (2004)

Bruce Russell
Wayne State University
Contextualists often argue from examples where it seems true to say in one context that a person knows something but not true to say that in another context where skeptical hypotheses have been introduced. The skeptical hypotheses can be moderate, simply mentioning what might be the case or raising questions about what a person is certain of, or radical, where scenarios about demon worlds, brains in vats, The Matrix, etc., are introduced. I argue that the introduction of these skeptical hypotheses leads people to fallaciously infer that it is no longer true to say that the relevant person knows. I believe that that is a better explanation of the so-called intuition that the person does not know than the contextualists who claim that raising these skeptical hypotheses changes the standards that determine when it is true to say S knows that P. At the end I raise the possibility that contextualists might defend their view on pragmatic rather than skeptical grounds by arguing that the standards of evidence rise when more is at stake in a practical sense.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-004-9288-0
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References found in this work BETA

Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions.Keith Derose - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.
``Assertion, Knowledge, and Context&Quot.Keith DeRose - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (2):167-203.
Skeptical Problems, Contextualist Solutions.Richard Feldman - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 103 (1):61 - 85.
Context, Interest-Relativity, and Knowledge.Jason Stanley - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.

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Citations of this work BETA

Epistemology.Matthias Steup - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Assertion, Practical Reason, and Pragmatic Theories of Knowledge.Janet Levin - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):359–384.

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