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Knowledge and the State of NatureAn Essay in Conceptual Synthesis$
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Edward Craig

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198238799

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198238797.001.0001

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(p.162) Appendix: Unger's Semantic Relativism

(p.162) Appendix: Unger's Semantic Relativism

Knowledge and the State of Nature

Edward Craig

Oxford University Press

Discusses Peter Unger's Philosophical Relativity, which makes use of a distinction between ‘Invariantist’ and ‘Contextualist’ semantics. Craig critiques what he sees as Unger's assumption that invariantism entails absolutism with respect to knowledge, the view that knowledge calls for absolute certainty, arguing that the context‐independence of a standard does not entail that it has to be the toughest standard possible. On the other hand, Unger's Semantic Relativism, the view that for many expressions there are empirically underdetermined plausible semantics of both the invariantist and contextualist kind, is endorsed and said to be compatible with the results of the practical explication, which does not itself determine a choice between invariantist and contextualist semantics for ‘know’.

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