Philosophical Studies

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 287–292 | Cite as

A problem for contrastivist accounts of knowledge

  • Christoph KelpEmail author


This paper raises a problem for contrastivist accounts of knowledge. It is argued that contrastivism fails to succeed in providing a modest solution to the sceptical paradox—i.e. one according to which we have knowledge of a wide range of ordinary empirical propositions whilst failing to know the various anti-sceptical hypotheses entailed by them—whilst, at the same time, retaining a contrastivist version of the closure principle for knowledge.


Epistemology Contrastivism Closure Scepticism 



Jonathan Schaffer, Duncan Pritchard, Jake Chandler and the audiences at the International Conference on Linguistics and Epistemology at the University of Aberdeen as well as the Albritton Society at UCLA.


  1. Blaauw, M. (2004). Contrastivism: Reconciling sceptical doubt with ordinary knowledge. Ph.D. Thesis, Free University Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  2. Hawthorne, J. (2005). The case for closure. In M. Steup & E. Sosa (Eds.), Contemporary debates in epistemology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  3. Karjalainen, A., & Morton, A. (2003). Contrastive knowledge. Philosophical Explorations, 6, 74–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Schaffer, J. (2004). From contextualism to contrastivism. Philosophical Studies, 119, 73–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Schaffer, J. (2005). Contrastive knowledge. In J. Hawthorne & T. Gendler (Eds.), Oxford studies in epistemology (Vol. 1). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Schaffer, J. (2007). Closure, contrast, and answer. Philosophical Studies, 133, 233–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Sinnot-Armstrong, W. (2004). Pyrrhonian Skepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Personalised recommendations