Disagreeing with a Skeptic from a Contextualist Point of View

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
Author: Elke Brendel
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  • University of Bonn, Germany

The paper focuses on the problem of how to account for the phenomena of disagreement and retraction in disputes over skepticism in a contextualist framework. I will argue that nonindexical versions of contextualism are better suited to account for those phenomena than DeRose’s indexical form of contextualism. Furthermore, I will argue against DeRose’s “single scoreboard” semantics and against his solution of ruling that in a dispute over skepticism, both parties to the conversation are expressing something truth-valueless. At the end, I will briefly address the question of whether DeRose’s contextualism combined with his double-safety account and his rule of sensitivity provide an epistemically satisfying answer to the skeptical challenge. It will be argued that by merely explaining (away) the attractiveness of skeptical arguments, DeRose’s contextualism seems to lack the resources to explain some important epistemic issues, as, for example, the question of what knowledge is and when a true belief turns into knowledge.

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