Advertisement

Erkenntnis

pp 1–16 | Cite as

Relativism and Conservatism

  • Alexander Dinges
Original Research

Abstract

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.

Notes

Acknowledgements

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

Funding was provided by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DE) (Grant No. DI 2172/1-1).

References

  1. Adler, J. E. (2012). Contextualism and fallibility. Pragmatic encroachment, possibility, and strength of epistemic position. Synthese, 188(2), 247–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Annis, D. B. (1980). Memory and justification. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 40(3), 324–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Austin, J. L. (1956). A plea for excuses. The presidential address. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 57, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernecker, S. (2008). The metaphysics of memory. Philosophical studies series (Vol. 111). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Blome-Tillmann, M. (2008). The indexicality of “knowledge”. Philosophical Studies, 138(1), 29–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blome-Tillmann, M. (2014). Knowledge and presuppositions. Oxford: OUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. BonJour, L. (2010). The myth of knowledge. Philosophical Perspectives, 24(1), 57–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brogaard, B. (2008). In defense of a perspectival semantics of “know”. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 86(3), 439–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown, J. (2014). Shifty talk. Knowledge and causation. Philosophical Studies, 167(2), 183–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brueckner, A. (2010). SSI disinterred. Philosophical Quarterly, 60(238), 160–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clarke, R. (2017). Contextualism about belief ascriptions. In J. J. Ichikawa (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of epistemic contextualism. Routledge handbooks in philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Cohen, S. (1999). Contextualism, skepticism, and the structure of reasons. Noûs, 33, 57–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davies, M. (2008–). The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA): 520 million words, 1990present. https://corpus.byu.edu/coca/. Accessed 15 July 2018.
  14. de Brasi, L. (2014). Contextualism and testimony. Análisis filosófico, 34(1), 61–75.Google Scholar
  15. DeRose, K. (1992). Contextualism and knowledge attributions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 52(4), 913–929.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. DeRose, K. (2008). Gradable adjectives: A defence of pluralism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 86(1), 141–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. DeRose, K. (2009). The case for contextualism. Knowledge, skepticism, and context (Vol. 1). Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  18. Douven, I. (2010). The pragmatics of belief. Journal of Pragmatics, 42, 35–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dretske, F. I. (1981). The pragmatic dimension of knowledge. Philosophical Studies, 40(3), 363–378.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00646423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Frise, M. (2017). Preservationism in the epistemology of memory. Philosophical Quarterly, 268(1), 486–507.Google Scholar
  21. Gerken, M. (2017). On folk epistemology: How we think and talk about knowledge. Oxford: OUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Goldman, A. I. (2009). Internalism, externalism, and the architecture of justification. The Journal of Philosophy, 106(6), 309–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Grimm, S. R. (2015). Knowledge, practical interests, and rising tides. In D. K. Henderson & J. Greco (Eds.), Epistemic evaluation (pp. 116–137). Oxford: OUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hannon, M. (2015). Stabilizing knowledge. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 96(1), 116–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harman, G. (1986). Change in view: Principles of reasoning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hawthorne, J. (2004). Knowledge and lotteries. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  27. Huemer, M. (1999). The problem of memory knowledge. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 80(4), 346–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ichikawa, J. J. (2017). Contextualising knowledge: Epistemology and semantics. Oxford: OUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Klein, S. B. (2015). What memory is. WIREs Cognitive Science, 6(1), 1–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kölbel, M. (2003). Faultless disagreement. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 104, 53–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kompa, N. (2005). The semantics of knowledge attributions. Acta Analytica, 20(1), 16–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lackey, J. (2005). Memory as a generative epistemic source. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 70(3), 636–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lackey, J. (2007). Why memory really is a generative epistemic source. A reply to Senor. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 74(1), 209–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ludlow, P. (2005). Contextualism and the new linguistic turn in epistemology. In G. Preyer & G. Peter (Eds.), Contextualism in philosophy. Knowledge, meaning, and truth (pp. 11–50). Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  35. MacFarlane, J. (2014). Assessment sensitivity: Relative truth and its applications. Oxford: OUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Matthen, M. (2010). Is memory preservation? Philosophical Studies, 148(1), 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McCain, K. (2015). Is forgotten evidence a problem for evidentialism? The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 53(4), 471–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McGrath, M. (2007). Memory and epistemic conservatism. Synthese, 157(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McKenna, R. (2014). Normative scorekeeping. Synthese, 191(3), 607–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McKenna, R. (2017). Pluralism about knowledge. In A. Coliva & N. J. L. L. Pedersen (Eds.), Epistemic pluralism. Palgrave innovations in philosophy (pp. 171–198). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  41. Moeller, E. F. L. (2015). Consuming knowledge claims across contexts. Synthese, 192(12), 4057–4070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Owens, D. J. (2000). Reason without freedom: The problem of epistemic normativity. International library of philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Richard, M. (2008). When truth gives out. Oxford: OUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rysiew, P. (2012). Epistemic scorekeeping. In J. Brown & M. Gerken (Eds.), Knowledge ascriptions. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  45. Senor, T. D. (2007). Preserving preservationism. A reply to Lackey. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 74(1), 199–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Senor, T. D. (2014). Epistemological problems of memory. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  47. Solt, S. (2018). Multidimensionality, subjectivity and scales: Experimental evidence. In L. McNally, E. Castroviejo-Miró, & G. Sassoon (Eds.), The semantics of gradability, vagueness and scale structure. Language, cognition, and mind (Vol. 4, pp. 59–91). Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stalnaker, R. C. (1999). Context and content: Essays on intentionality in speech and thought. Oxford cognitive science series. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  49. Stanley, J. (2005). Knowledge and practical interests. Short Philosophical Books. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  50. Sutton, J. (2016). Memory. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  51. Turri, J. (2010). Epistemic invariantism and speech act contextualism. The Philosophical Review, 119(1), 77–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Weatherson, B. (2017). Interest-relative invariantism. In J. J. Ichikawa (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of epistemic contextualism. Routledge handbooks in philosophy (pp. 240–254). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Williamson, T. (2005). Knowledge, context, and the agent’s point of view. In G. Preyer & G. Peter (Eds.), Contextualism in philosophy knowledge, meaning, and truth (pp. 91–114). Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophisches SeminarUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations