Knowledge and Disagreement

  • Martin MontminyEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 369)


Epistemic contextualism holds that the content of a knowledge sentence of the form ‘S knows that P’ is context sensitive. This view respects the context sensitivity of ordinary speakers’ use of knowledge sentences. But this context sensitivity can be accommodated equally well by relativism, which holds that the content of a knowledge sentence is the same in every context, but the truth-value of this content depends on context-sensitive epistemic standards. Relativists argue that their view should be preferred to contextualism, because it respects what we may call the intuition of disagreement: ordinary speakers take themselves to be disagreeing with speakers in contexts where different epistemic standards prevail. In this paper, I distinguish between two forms of relativism, and show that neither can provide a better account of disagreement than contextualism. Disagreement thus does not supply a reason to favor the relativist’s revisionist semantics over contextualism.


Epistemic contextualism Relativism Disagreement Knowledge attributions 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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