, Volume 193, Issue 8, pp 2577–2593 | Cite as

Skeptical pragmatic invariantism: good, but not good enough

  • Alexander DingesEmail author


In this paper, I will discuss what I will call “skeptical pragmatic invariantism” (SPI) as a potential response to the intuitions we have about scenarios such as the so-called bank cases. SPI, very roughly, is a form of epistemic invariantism that says the following: The subject in the bank cases doesn’t know that the bank will be open. The knowledge ascription in the low standards case seems appropriate nevertheless because it has a true implicature. The goal of this paper is to show that SPI is mistaken. In particular, I will show that SPI is incompatible with reasonable assumptions about how we are aware of the presence of implicatures. Such objections are not new, but extant formulations are wanting for reasons I will point out below. One may worry that refuting SPI is not a worthwhile project given that this view is an implausible minority position anyway. To respond, I will argue that, contrary to common opinion, other familiar objections to SPI fail and, thus, that SPI is a promising position to begin with.


Epistemic invariantism Epistemic contextualism Skepticism Implicatures Implicitures Pragmatic invariantism 



I am grateful to Michael Blome-Tillmann, Elke Brendel, Aurélien Darbellay, Mikkel Gerken, Beate Krickel, David Lanius, Dan López de Sa, David Löwenstein, Erik Stei, Emanuel Viebahn, Julia Zakkou and the participants of the Fifth Annual Graduate Epistemology Conference (Edinburgh, 2015) for very helpful comments on earlier drafts of the paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PhilosophieHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Philosophisches SeminarUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany

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