The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. 1.

The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. 1

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  • ISBN details

    • ISBN 10: 0199564469
    • ISBN 13: 9780199564460


    Contextualism is the view that the epistemic standards that a subject must meet in order for a sentence attributing knowledge to her to be true vary according to the contexts in which those sentences are uttered. This book argues that contextualism is true and is superior to its rival, invariantism, in both of the latter's main forms: classical invariantism and subject-sensitive invariantism. Chapter 2 presents the main argument for contextualism: the argument from the ordinary usage of know(s). Chapter 3 utilizes the knowledge account of assertion both to answer the most important objection to Chapter 2's argument and to underwrite a second positive argument for contextualism: the argument from variable conditions of warranted assertability for simple assertions. Chapter 4 explores options for how to handle the semantics of context-sensitive terms in situations of disagreement among speakers, and answers objections to contextualism based on its alleged inability to handle such disagreements. Chapter 5 answers several objections to contextualism that allege that in various ways know(s) does not behave like a context-sensitive term. Chapter 6 argues that contextualism has an important advantage over subject-sensitive invariantism in virtue of its ability to respect intellectualism, the thesis that questions over whether a subject knows turn exclusively on truth-related features of the subject's situation. Chapter 7 explores important connections between knowledge and various evaluations of actions. Against recent claims that important advantages for subject-sensitive invariantism are to be found here, it is argued that contextualism actually handles these connections better than does subject-sensitive invariantism.

    Other Details

    • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
    • Format: Hardcover
    • Edition: 1
    • Date Published: December 2008
    • Authors: Keith DeRose