Moorean Contextualism

December 10, 2014 - 17:30 - 19:00
Zrinyi u. 14
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Johnatan Ichikawa
CEU host unit(s): 
Department of Philosophy

A Moorean response to skepticism affirms ordinary knowledge in the face of skeptical scenarios, and uses it to rule them out. "I know I have hands, so I know I'm not a handless brain in a vat." A contextualist response to skepticism suggests that different conversational standards govern the use of "knows", so that knowledge attributions in a skeptical conversational context might be false, even though the same sentence in a non-skeptical context might express a truth. It is natural (and standard) to think of Moorean lines and contextualist lines as competitors—both because they offer diverse explanations for the same data, and because they are motivated in very different ways. In my talk, I shall argue that this is a mistake. Moorean and contextualist approaches needn't be thought of as in competition. Instead, I argue that there is a natural place for a Moorean line of thought within a contextualist framework, leaving both epistemic approaches well-motivated.