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Knowledge, Conservativism, and Pragmatics
Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
2014 (English)In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 191, no 14, 3239-3269 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The apparent contextual variability exhibited by ‘knows’ and its cognates—brought to attention in examples like Keith DeRose’s Bank Case—poses familiarproblems for conservative forms of invariantism about ‘knows’. The paper examinesand criticises a popular response to those problems, one that involves appeal to so-called ‘pragmatic’ features of language. It is first argued, contrary to what seemsto have been generally assumed, that any pragmatic defence faces serious problemswith regard to our judgments about retraction. Second, the familiar objection that thepragmatic effects at issue do not seem to be cancellable is considered. Advocates of thepragmatic defence have suggested that cancellability concerns can be dealt with fairlyreadily. It is shown both that their recent attempts to respond to those concerns, andsome other possible attempts, are unsuccessful. Finally, it is argued that the popularrelevance-based accounts, found in the work of Jessica Brown, Alan Hazlett, andPatrick Rysiew, fail to provide a satisfactory explanation of our judgments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 191, no 14, 3239-3269 p.
Keyword [en]
Knowledge ascriptions, Pragmatics, Invariantism
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126160DOI: 10.1007/s11229-014-0442-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-126160DiVA: diva2:998753
Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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