The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism

ISBN 9781138818392
Published March 17, 2017 by Routledge
516 Pages

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Book Description

Epistemic contextualism is a recent and hotly debated topic in philosophy. Contextualists argue that the language we use to attribute knowledge can only be properly understood relative to a specified context. How much can our knowledge depend on context? Is there a limit, and if so, where does it lie? What is the relationship between epistemic contextualism and fundamental topics in philosophy such as objectivity, truth, and relativism?

The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems, and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising thirty-seven chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into eight parts:

  • Data and motivations for contextualism
  • Methodological issues
  • Epistemological implications
  • Doing without contextualism
  • Relativism and disagreement
  • Semantic implementations
  • Contextualism outside ‘knows’
  • Foundational linguistic issues.

Within these sections central issues, debates and problems are examined, including contextualism and thought experiments and paradoxes such as the Gettier problem and the lottery paradox; semantics and pragmatics; the relationship between contextualism, relativism, and disagreement; and contextualism about related topics like ethical judgments and modality.

The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism is essential reading for students and researchers in epistemology and philosophy of language. It will also be very useful for those in related fields such as linguistics and philosophy of mind.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What is Epistemic Contextualism Jonathan Ichikawa

Part 1: Data and Motivations

1. The Variability of ‘Knows’: An Opinionated Overview Crispin Wright

2. The Intuitive Basis for Contextualism Geoff Pynn

3. Epistemic Contextualism and Linguistic Behavior Wesley Buckwalter

4. Feminism and Contextualism Evelyn Brister

Part 2: Methodological Issues

5. Epistemic Contextualism and Conceptual Ethics E. Diaz-Leon

6. Does Contextualism Hinge on a Methodological Dispute? Jie Gao, Mikkel Gerken, and Stephen B. Ryan

7. The Psychological Context of Contextualism Jennifer Nagel and Julia Jael Smith

8. What Are We Doing When We Theorize About Context Sensitivity? Derek Ball

Part 3: Epistemological Implications

9. Epistemic Contextualism and the Shifting the Question Objection Brian Montgomery

10. Skepticism and Contextualism Michael J. Hannon

11. Contextualism and Fallibilism Keith DeRose

12. Contextualism and Closure Maria Lasonen-Aarnio

13. Lotteries and Prefaces Matthew A. Benton

14. Contextualism and Knowledge Norms Alex Worsnip

15. Contextualism and Gettier Cases John Greco

Part 4: Doing Without Contextualism

16. ‘Knowledge’ and Pragmatics Patrick Rysiew

17. Loose Use and Belief variation Wayne A. Davis

18. Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism applied to ‘knows’ Herman Cappelen

19. Interest-Relative Invariantism Brian Weatherson

Part 5: Relativism and Disagreement

20. The Disagreement Challenge to Contextualism Justin Khoo

21. On Disagreement Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes

22. Contextualism, Relativism, and the Problem of Lost Disagreement Elke Brendel

23. Epistemological Implications of Relativism J. Adam Carter

Part 6: Semantic Implementations

24. The Semantic Error Problem for Epistemic Contextualism Patrick Greenough and Dirk Kindermann

25. Gradability and Knowledge Michael Blome-Tillmann

26. Conversational Kinematics Robin McKenna

27. ‘Knowledge’ and Quantifiers Nathan R. Cockram

Part 7: Contextualism Outside 'Knows'

28. Moral Contextualism and Epistemic Contextualism: Similarities and Differences Berit Brogaard

29. Contextualism about Epistemic Reasons Daniel Fogal and Kurt Sylvan

30. Contextualism about Epistemic Modals J.L. Dowell

31. Contextualism about Belief Ascriptions Roger Clarke

32. Counterfactuals and Knowledge Karen S. Lewis

33. Contextualism about Foundations Daniel Greco

Part 8: Foundational Linguistic Issues

34. The Semantics-Pragmatics Distinction and Context-Sensitivity Maite Ezcurdia Olavarrieta

35. The Mind-independence of Contexts for Knowledge-Attributions Giovanni Mion and Christopher Gauker

36. Index, context, and the content of knowledge Brian Rabern

37. Contextualism in Epistemology and Relevance Theory Mark Jary and Robert J. Stainton.


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Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. He is the co-author, with Benjamin Jarvis, of The Rules of Thought (2013), and the author of Contextualising Knowledge: Epistemology and Semantics (2017).


"Can greater attentiveness to the mechanisms of language solve, or dissolve, central philosophical problems? In no area has this question been as deeply explored as epistemology. This remarkable volume brings together most of the major contributors to this debate in epistemology, one that has clear ramifications for philosophical methodology generally." - Jason Stanley, Yale University, USA

"An excellent resource for students and researchers interested in epistemic contextualism, with expert treatment of a broad range of pertinent topics. The editor and his slate of contributors inspire high confidence." - Ernest Sosa, Rutgers University, USA