In Defense of Indexicalism: Comments on Davis

  • Gerhard Ernst


Wayne Davis (2004) argues against the thesis that knowledge claims are indexical, and he presents an alternative account of the contextual variability of our use of “S knows p.” In this commentary I focus on the following three points. First, I want to supplement Davis’s considerations about the inability of indexicalism to deal with “skeptical paradoxes” by considering what the consequence would be if the indexicalist’s explanation of these paradoxes were satisfactory. Second, I am going to take a brief look at Davis’s alternative theory. Third, in the main part of my commentary I try to show that indexicalism may be true in spite of the linguistic evidence Davis presents against it.


Knowledge Claim Indexical Expression Skeptical Hypothesis Stylistic Variant Contextual Variability 
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  1. Davis, W.: 2004, ‘Are Knowledge Claims Indexical?’, Erkenntnis 61, 257–280.Google Scholar
  2. Ernst, G.: 2002, Das Problem des Wissens, Mentis, Paderborn.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Ernst
    • 1
  1. 1.Seminar füur Philosophie Logik und WissenschaftstheorieLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenGermany

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