Acta Analytica

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 111–125

Against the Minimalistic Reading of Epistemic Contextualism: A Reply to Wolfgang Freitag


DOI: 10.1007/s12136-012-0153-5

Cite this article as:
Ashfield, M.D. Acta Anal (2013) 28: 111. doi:10.1007/s12136-012-0153-5


Several philosophers have argued that the factivity of knowledge poses a problem for epistemic contextualism (EC), which they have construed as a knowability problem. On a proposed minimalistic reading of EC’s commitments, Wolfgang Freitag argues that factivity yields no knowability problem for EC. I begin by explaining how factivity is thought to generate a contradiction out of paradigmatic contextualist cases on a certain reading of EC’s commitments. This reductio results in some kind of reflexivity problem for the contextualist when it comes to knowing her theory: either a knowability problem or a statability problem. Next, I set forth Freitag’s minimalistic reading of EC and explain how it avoids the reductio, the knowability problem and the statability problem. I argue that despite successfully evading these problems, Freitag’s minimalistic reading saddles EC with several other serious problems and should be rejected. I conclude by offering my own resolution to the problems.


Epistemic contextualism Factivity Reflexivity problem Knowability problem Statability problem Even-handedness 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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