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Ideas of Keith DeRose, by Text

[American, b.1962, Professor at Yale University.]

2009 The Case for Contextualism
1.09 p.22 A contextualist coherentist will say that how strongly a justification must cohere depends on context
     Full Idea: If you are a coherentist and a contextualist, you'll probably want to hold that how strongly beliefs must cohere with one another in order to count as knowledge (if they are true), or to count as justified, is a contextually variable matter.
     From: Keith DeRose (The Case for Contextualism [2009], 1.09)
     A reaction: How exciting! He's talking about ME! Context might not only dictate the strength of the coherence, but also the range of beliefs involved. In fact all of Thagard's criteria of coherence may be subject to contextual variation.
1.12 p.27 Classical invariantism combines fixed truth-conditions with variable assertability standards
     Full Idea: The great rival to contextualism is classical 'invariantism' - invariantism about the truth-conditions [for knowing], combined with variable standards for warranted assertability.
     From: Keith DeRose (The Case for Contextualism [2009], 1.12)
     A reaction: That is, I take it, that we might want to assert that someone 'knows' something, when the truth is that they don't. That is, either you know or you don't, but we can bend the rules as to whether we say you know. I take this view to be false.
1.14 p.34 We can make contextualism more precise, by specifying the discrimination needed each time
     Full Idea: We might make the basic contextualist schema more precise saying the change in content will consist in a change in the range of relevant alternatives. Higher standards would discriminate from a broader range of alternatives.
     From: Keith DeRose (The Case for Contextualism [2009], 1.14)
     A reaction: This would handle the 'fake barn' and 'disguised zebra' examples, by saying lower standards do not expect such discriminations. The zebra case has a lower standard than the barn case (because fake barns are the norm here).
1.6 p.14 In some contexts there is little more to knowledge than true belief.
     Full Idea: I'm inclined to accept that in certain contexts the standards for knowledge are so low that little more than true belief is required.
     From: Keith DeRose (The Case for Contextualism [2009], 1.6)
     A reaction: DeRose emphasises that 'a little more' is needed, rather than none. The example given is where 'he knew that p' means little more than 'the information that p was available to him' (in a political scandal).
1.7 p.18 If contextualism is about knowledge attribution, rather than knowledge, then it is philosophy of language
     Full Idea: Maybe contextualism isn't a theory about knowledge at all, but about knowledge attributions. As such, it is not a piece of epistemology at all, but of philosophy of language.
     From: Keith DeRose (The Case for Contextualism [2009], 1.7)
     A reaction: DeRose takes this view to be wrong. At the very least this will have to include self-attributions, by the supposed knower, because I might say 'I know that p', meaning 'but only in this rather low-standard context'.
1016 p.42 Contextualists worry about scepticism, but they should focus on the use of 'know' in ordinary speech
     Full Idea: While skepticism has drawn much of the attention of contextualists, support for contextualism should also - and perhaps primarily - be looked for in how 'knows' is utilised in non-philosophical conversation.
     From: Keith DeRose (The Case for Contextualism [2009], 1016)
     A reaction: Contextualists say scepticism is just raising the standards absurdly high. I take it that the ordinary use of the word 'know' is obviously highly contextual, and so varied that I don't see how philosophers could 'regiment' it into invariant form.