Philosophical Studies

, Volume 175, Issue 8, pp 2005–2015 | Cite as

Strange-but-true: a (quick) new argument for contextualism about ‘know’

  • Paul DimmockEmail author


A powerful objection to subject-sensitive invariantism (SSI) concerns various ‘strange-but-true’ (or “embarrassing”) conditionals. One popular response to this objection is to argue that strange-but-true conditionals pose a problem for non-sceptical epistemological theories in general. In the present paper, it is argued that strange-but-true conditionals are not a problem for contextualism about ‘know’. This observation undercuts the proposed defence of SSI, and supplies a surprising new argument for contextualism.


Epistemic contextualism Subject-sensitive invariantism Embarrassing counterfactuals Fake barn cases 



Thanks to Jessica Brown, Patrick Greenough, Dirk Kindermann, Daniele Sgaravatti, and an anonymous referee for helpful comments and discussion.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Logic and Analytic PhilosophyKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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