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The Case for ContextualismKnowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. 1$
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Keith DeRose

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564460.001.0001

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The Ordinary Language Basis for Contextualism

The Ordinary Language Basis for Contextualism

(p.47) 2 The Ordinary Language Basis for Contextualism
The Case for Contextualism

Keith DeRose (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the main argument for contextualism: the argument from the ordinary, non-philosophical usage of ‘knows’. Both the features of ordinary usage that support contextualism and the reasons why these features provide such strong support are scrutinized. Hence, there is considerable focus on the methodology of ordinary language philosophy, and especially on the question of just when it is important for a theory of the meaning of a term to make ordinary claims involving that term come out true. The chapter's Appendix looks briefly at contextualist accounts of terms other than ’knows that’, and discusses whether similarly powerful grounds exist for these other contextualisms.

Keywords:   ordinary language, contextualism, invariantism, ordinary usage

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