Reply to Critics

Abstract

Introductory Remarks Reading these excellent commentaries we already wish we had written another book – a more comprehensive, clearer, and better defended one than what we have. We are, however, quite fond of the book we ended up with, and so we've decided that, rather than to yield, we'll clarify. These contributions have helped us do that, and for that we are grateful to our critics. We're lucky in that many (so far about twenty1) extremely able philosophers have read and commented on our work in print. A slightly discouraging fact is that all these commentators seem to think we are completely, utterly mistaken. On the positive side: Our critics seem to disagree about what we're completely wrong about. On the one hand, radical contextualists (e.g. Travis) find our objections against them off the mark, but our objections to moderate contextualism dead-on. On the other hand, the moderate contextualists (e.g. Szabo) think that our objections against them fail, but our objections to radical contextualism are strong (Szabo, concludes that we ‘present strong arguments against radical contextualism, but only a weak case against moderate contextualism’). This means we've got our work cut out for us – defending the middle ground from every which way – something we are more than pleased to do. We start with general points of clarification, points it will be useful to reference from time to time when discussing each commentary. (General Comment #4 is the most important, and we reference it repeatedly in what follows.) General Comment #1: Our View isn't Radical..

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Charles Travis
King's College London

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