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Externalism and Modest Contextualism

  • Fred Dretske

Abstract

Externalism about knowledge commits one to a modest form of contextualism: whether one knows depends (or may depend) on circumstances (context) of which one has no knowledge. Such modest contextualism requires the rejection of the KK Principle (If S knows that P, then S knows that S knows that P) — something most people would want to reject anyway — but it does not require (though it is compatible with) a rejection of closure. Radical contextualism, on the other hand, goes a step farther and relativizes knowledge not just to the circumstances of the knower, but to the circumstances of the person attributing knowledge. I reject this more radical form of contextualism and suggest that it confuses (or that it can, at least, be avoided by carefully distinguishing) the relativity in what S is said to know from the relativity in whether S knows what S is said to know.

Keywords

Grocery Store Knowledge Claim Knowledge Attribution Relevant Alternative Target Fact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Dretske
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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