Chapter

Contextualism, Skepticism, and Warranted Assertibility Maneuvers

Duncan Pritchard

in Knowledge and Skepticism

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780262014083
Published online August 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780262265782 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262014083.003.0005
Contextualism, Skepticism, and Warranted Assertibility Maneuvers

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In this chapter, contextualism tries to tread an amicable path by maintaining that both the skeptical context—we are wrong to withdraw such ascriptions and regard the agents in question as lacking knowledge—and the nonskeptical context—we are wrong to ascribe knowledge to agents—can be accommodated. In particular, contextualists typically argue that, because of the context-sensitivity of “knows,” relative to the quotidian epistemic standards at issue in nonskeptical contexts, assertions of ascription sentences will express truths; while relative to the epistemic standards at issue in skeptical contexts, assertions of those same ascription sentences will express falsehoods. It can be argued by the skeptic that, although it is conversationally inappropriate in nonskeptical contexts to deny that agents have knowledge, this is not because such denials are false. Similarly, while it is conversationally inappropriate for an anti-skeptic to ascribe knowledge to agents in skeptical contexts, those agents nevertheless do possess the knowledge being ascribed to them.

Keywords: contextualism; skeptical context; nonskeptical context; context-sensitivity; knows; ascription sentences; knowledge

Chapter.  7781 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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