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Profile: Robin McKenna (University of Vienna)
  1. Normative Scorekeeping.Robin McKenna - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):607-625.
    Epistemic contextualists think that the truth-conditions of ‘knowledge’ ascriptions depend in part on the context in which they are uttered. But what features of context play a role in determining truth-conditions? The idea that the making salient of error possibilities is a central part of the story has often been attributed to contextualists, and a number of contextualists seem to endorse it (see Cohen (Philos Perspect, 13:57–89, 1999) and Hawthorne, (Knowledge and lotteries, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004)). In this paper (...)
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  2. Epistemic Contextualism: A Normative Approach.Robin McKenna - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):101-123.
    In his Knowledge and Practical Interests Jason Stanley argues that the view he defends, which he calls interest-relative invariantism, is better supported by certain cases than epistemic contextualism. In this article I argue that a version of epistemic contextualism that emphasizes the role played by the ascriber's practical interests in determining the truth-conditions of her ‘knowledge’ ascriptions – a view that I call interests contextualism – is better supported by Stanley's cases than interest-relative invariantism or other versions of epistemic contextualism. (...)
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  3. Shifting Targets and Disagreements.Robin McKenna - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):725-742.
    Many have rejected contextualism about ?knows? because the view runs into trouble with intra- and inter-contextual disagreement reports. My aim in this paper is to show that this is a mistake. First, I outline four desiderata for a contextualist solution to the problem. Second, I argue that two extant solutions to the problem fail to satisfy the desiderata. Third, I develop an alternative solution which satisfies the four desiderata. The basic idea, put roughly, is that ?knowledge? ascriptions serve the function (...)
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  4. Epistemic Contextualism Defended.Robin McKenna - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):363-383.
    Epistemic contextualists think that the extension of the expression ‘knows’ depends on and varies with the context of utterance. In the last 15 years or so this view has faced intense criticism. This paper focuses on two sorts of objections. The first are what I call the ‘linguistic objections’, which purport to show that the best available linguistic evidence suggests that ‘knows’ is not context-sensitive. The second is what I call the ‘disagreement problem’, which concerns the behaviour of ‘knows’ in (...)
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  5. Interests Contextualism.Robin McKenna - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (4):741-750.
    In this paper I develop a version of contextualism that I call interests contextualism. Interests contextualism is the view that the truth-conditions of knowledge ascribing and denying sentences are partly determined by the ascriber’s interests and purposes. It therefore stands in opposition to the usual view on which the truth-conditions are partly determined by the ascriber’s conversational context. I give an argument against one particular implementation of the usual view, differentiate interests contextualism from other prominent versions of contextualism and argue (...)
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  6. Epistemic Contextualism, Epistemic Relativism and Disagreement.Robin McKenna - 2012 - Philosophical Writings.
    In the recent philosophy of language literature there is a debate over whether contextualist accounts of the semantics of various terms can accommodate intuitions of disagreement in certain cases involving those terms. Relativists such as John MacFarlane have claimed that this motivates adopting a form of relativist semantics for these terms because the relativist can account for the same data as contextualists but doesn’t face this problem of disagreement (MacFarlane 2005, 2007 and 2009). In this paper I focus on the (...)
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  7. Why Assertion and Practical Reasoning Are Possibly Not Governed by the Same Epistemic Norm.Robin McKenna - 2013 - Logos and Episteme 4 (4):457-464.
    This paper focuses on Martin Montminy’s recent attempt to show that assertion and practical reasoning are necessarily governed by the same epistemic norm (“Why assertion and practical reasoning must be governed by the same epistemic norm”, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly [2013]). I show that the attempt fails. I finish by considering the upshot for the recent debate concerning the connection between the epistemic norms of assertion and practical reasoning.
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  8.  19
    Pluralism About Knowledge.Robin McKenna - forthcoming - In Annalisa Coliva & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), Epistemic Pluralism. Palgrave Macmillan.
    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 (...)
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  9.  17
    Action, Knowledge, and Will By John Hyman. [REVIEW]Robin McKenna - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):667-670.
    _Action, Knowledge, and Will_By HymanJohnOxford University Press, 2015. 255 pp. £35.00.
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  10. 'Knowledge' Ascriptions, Social Roles and Semantics.Robin McKenna - 2013 - Episteme 10 (4):335-350.
    The idea that the concept ‘knowledge’ has a distinctive function or social role is increasingly influential within contemporary epistemology. Perhaps the best-known account of the function of ‘knowledge’ is that developed in Edward Craig’s Knowledge and the state of nature (1990, OUP), on which (roughly) ‘knowledge’ has the function of identifying good informants. Craig’s account of the function of ‘knowledge’ has been appealed to in support of a variety of views, and in this paper I’m concerned with the claim that (...)
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  11. Disagreeing About 'Ought'.Robin McKenna - 2014 - Ethics 124 (3):589-597.
    In their ‘Metaethical contextualism defended’ (Ethics, 2010) Gunnar Björnsson & Stephen Finlay argue that metaethical contextualism - roughly, the view that 'ought' claims are semantically incomplete and require supplementation by certain parameters provided by the context in which they are uttered - can deal with two influential problems. The first concerns the connection between deliberation and advice (the 'practical integration problem'). The second concerns the way in which the expression ‘ought’ behaves in intra- and inter-contextual disagreement reports (the 'semantic assessment (...)
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  12.  42
    Clifford and the Common Epistemic Norm.Robin McKenna - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):245-258.
    This paper develops a “Cliffordian” argument for a common epistemic norm governing belief, action, and assertion. The idea is that beliefs are the sorts of things that lead to actions and assertions. What each of us believes influences what we act on and assert, and in turn influences what those around us believe, act on, and assert. Belief, action, and assertion should be held to a common epistemic norm because, otherwise, this system will become contaminated. The paper finishes by drawing (...)
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  13.  41
    Conversational Kinematics.Robin McKenna - forthcoming - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge.
  14.  15
    Pluralism About Knowledge.Robin McKenna - forthcoming - In Annalisa Coliva & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), Epistemic Pluralism. Palgrave Macmillan.
    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 (...)
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  15.  14
    Epistemic Contextualism: A Normative Approach.Robin McKenna - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    I develop and argue for a version of epistemic contextualism - the view that the truth-values of ‘knowledge’ ascriptions depend upon and vary with the context in which they are uttered - that emphasises the roles played by both the practical interests of those in the context and the epistemic practices of the community of which they are part in determining the truth-values of their ‘knowledge’ ascriptions. My favoured way of putting it is that the truth of a ‘knowledge’ ascription (...)
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  16.  81
    Contextualism in Epistemology.Robin McKenna - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):489-503.
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  17.  94
    The Unity of Linguistic Meaning, by John Collins. Oxford: Oxford.Allan Hazlett, Robin Mckenna & Joey Pollock - 2012 - Mind 121 (483):483.
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  18.  49
    Revisionary Epistemology.Davide Fassio & Robin McKenna - 2015 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):755-779.
    What is knowledge? What should knowledge be like? Call an epistemological project that sets out to answer the first question ‘descriptive’ and a project that sets out to answer the second question ‘normative’. If the answers to these two questions don’t coincide—if what knowledge should be like differs from what knowledge is like—there is room for a third project we call ‘revisionary’. A revisionary project starts by arguing that what knowledge should be differs from what knowledge is. It then proposes (...)
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  19.  13
    Metaepistemology and Relativism. [REVIEW]Robin McKenna - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (3):212-216.
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  20.  4
    Reliabilism and Relativism.Robin McKenna - 2015 - In Proceedings of the 38th International Wittgenstein Society Conference.
    Process reliabilism says that a belief is justified iff the belief-forming process that produced it is sufficiently reliable. But any token belief-forming process is an instance of a number of different belief-forming process types. The problem of specifying the relevant type is known as the ‘generality problem’ for process reliabilism. This paper proposes a broadly relativist solution to the generality problem. The thought is that the relevant belief-forming process type is relative to the context. While the basic idea behind the (...)
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  21.  28
    Assertion, Complexity, and Sincerity.Robin McKenna - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):782-798.
    The target of this paper is the ‘simple’ knowledge account of assertion, according to which assertion is constituted by a single epistemic rule of the form ‘One must: assert p only if one knows p’. My aim is to argue that those who are attracted to a knowledge account of assertion should prefer what I call the ‘complex’ knowledge account, according to which assertion is constituted by a system of rules all of which are, taken together, constitutive of assertion. One (...)
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  22. Review of Brown and Cappelen, Assertion (Oxford University Press).Allan Hazlett, Robin McKenna & Joey Pollock - forthcoming - Mind.
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