Book

Knowledge and Practical Interests

Jason Stanley

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780199288038
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603679 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199288038.001.0001

Series: Lines of Thought

Knowledge and Practical Interests

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The thesis of this book is that whether or not someone knows a proposition at a given time is in part determined by his or her practical interests, i.e., by how much is at stake for that person at that time. Thus, whether a true belief is knowledge is not merely a matter of supporting beliefs or reliability; in the case of knowledge, practical rationality and theoretical rationality are intertwined. This thesis, called Interest-Relative Invariantism about knowledge, is defended against alternative accounts of the phenomena that motivate it, such as the claim that knowledge attributions are linguistically context-sensitive and the claim that the truth of a knowledge claim is somehow relative to the person making the claim. The strategies available for resolving skepticism to the strategies available for resolving other philosophical paradoxes are compared. For example, contextualist solutions to the sorites paradox and the liar paradox, as well as interest-relative accounts of the sorites paradox are considered. It is shown that the argument for the interest-relative character of epistemic notions is not the result of an application of a general strategy for resolving philosophical quandaries, but arises from the distinctive nature of epistemic properties.

Keywords: epistemology; Interest-Relative Invariantism; skepticism; action; practical reasoning; contextualism; relativism; sorites paradox; gradable adjectives

Book.  208 pages. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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Contextualism in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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Knowledge Ascriptions and Gradability in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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Knowledge Ascriptions and Context‐Sensitivity in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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Contextualism on the Cheap? in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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<i>Interest‐Relative Invariantism</i> in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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Interest‐Relative Invariantism versus Relativism in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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9 9 Conclusion in Knowledge and Practical Interests

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