Synthese 191 (3):607-625 (2014)
AbstractEpistemic contextualists think that the truth-conditions of ‘knowledge’ ascriptions depend in part on the context in which they are uttered. But what features of context play a role in determining truth-conditions? The idea that the making salient of error possibilities is a central part of the story has often been attributed to contextualists, and a number of contextualists seem to endorse it (see Cohen (Philos Perspect, 13:57–89, 1999) and Hawthorne, (Knowledge and lotteries, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004)). In this paper I argue that the focus on salience relations is a mistake. On the view I defend, the relevant features of context are facts about what error-possibilities and alternatives those in the context have a reason to consider, not facts about what error-possibilities and alternatives those in the context actually consider. As I will argue, this view has certain advantages over the standard view
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