Relativism and Conservatism
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Relativism and contextualism have been suggested as candidate semantics for “knowledge” sentences. I argue that relativism faces a problem concerning the preservation of beliefs in memory. Contextualism has been argued to face a similar problem. I argue that contextualists, unlike relativists, can respond to the concern. The overall upshot is that contextualism is superior to relativism in at least one important respect.
I am grateful to Michael Hannon, Roman Heil, Thomas Krödel, Victoria Lavorerio, Andrew Peet, Guillermo Del Pinal, Sergiu Spatan, Emanuel Viebahn, Julia Zakkou, the participants of Benjamin Schnieder’s research colloquium in Hamburg, audiences in Cologne, Göttingen, Leuven and Vienna and two anonymous reviewers for very helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Funding was provided by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DE) (Grant No. DI 2172/1-1).
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