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Jessica Brown and Mikkel Gerken

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693702.001.0001

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Arguing for Shifty Epistemology

Arguing for Shifty Epistemology

(p.55) 3 Arguing for Shifty Epistemology
Knowledge Ascriptions

Jeremy Fantl

Matthew McGrath

Oxford University Press

The chapter distinguishes two different strategies one could use to defend ‘shifty epistemology’ according to which the truth values of knowledge ascriptions vary not merely with differences in traditional factors such as belief, truth, and evidence, etc., but also with the salience of error possibilities and practical stakes. Shifty epistemologists assert an existential claim to the effect that there is a least one pair of cases in which the relevant knowledge ascriptions differ in their truth values due to variation in some non-traditional factor. The first ‘argument-from-instances’ strategy attempts to provide instances of the existential. By contrast, the second ‘argument-from-principles’ strategy defends the existential claim by argument from further general claims or principles. The main point of the chapter is to argue that the latter strategy has advantages when compared to the former.

Keywords:   intuition, knowledge, impurism, contextualism

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