A linguistic grounding for a polysemy theory of ‘knows’

Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1163-1182 (2018)
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Abstract
In his book Knowledge and Practical Interests Jason Stanley offers an argument for the conclusion that it is quite unlikely that an ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ can be “linguistically grounded”. His argument rests on two important assumptions: that linguistic grounding of ambiguity requires evidence of the purported different senses of a word being represented by different words in other languages and that such evidence is lacking in the case of ‘knows’. In this paper, I challenge the conclusion that there isn’t a linguistic grounding for an ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ by making cases against both of Stanley’s major assumptions. I will do this by making a case for a prime facie linguistic grounding for a polysemy theory of ‘knows’ without appealing to word use in other languages. Given that a polysemy theory of ‘knows’ is a type of ambiguity theory of ‘knows’, if I succeed in linguistically grounding a polysemy theory of ‘knows’, then I have shown that at least one type of ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ can be linguistically grounded.
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Archival date: 2020-07-14
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