Chapter

Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions

Michael Blome-Tillmann

in Knowledge Ascriptions

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693702
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741265 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693702.003.0005
Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions

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This chapter considers counterexamples to presuppositional epistemic contextualism (PEC), a view about the semantics of ‘knowledge’-ascriptions. According to PEC, the semantic content of the predicate ‘know’ at a context Cis partly determined by the speaker’s pragmatic presuppositions at C. The problem for the view arises from the fact that pragmatic presuppositions are sometimes known to be true by speakers who make them: hence the problem of known presuppositions. After discussing several unsuccessful ways to solve the problem, it is proposed to add a new Lewisian rule of proper ignoring to the semantics of PEC — namely, the rule of evidence-based ignoring. If the proposed account succeeds, the problem of known presuppositions has a straightforward solution within the framework of PEC.

Keywords: contextualism; Lewis; pragmatic presupposition; proper ignoring

Chapter.  7903 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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