The best candidate for an epistemic contextualist response to scepticism: methodological contexualism

Ashton, Natalie Alana (2013). The best candidate for an epistemic contextualist response to scepticism: methodological contexualism. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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In this thesis I promote Michael Williams’s methodological contextualism as the best candidate for a contextualist response to scepticism. Often when people talk about contextualist responses to scepticism they think of a particular branch of contextualism, a group of semantic theses. In the first two sections I explain how this semantic contextualist view is thought to amount to a response to scepticism, and consider how well the most popular form – attributor semantic contextualism – fares against a number of objections. I highlight two features of attributor Contextualism as the source of these problems.
In sections 3 and 4 I explain the alternative inferential contextualism which Williams offers, and the other features of his methodological contextualism response to scepticism. I show that his view avoids the objections raised against the more popular attributor view because it doesn’t have the two features I highlight as problematic. As it stands, Williams’s methodological view does not offer a complete response to scepticism, but I suggest two additions which can be made to it to remedy this. In section 5 I conclude that Williams’s view, with my suggested addition, offers the best way forward for those wanting to respond to the sceptic in a contextualist manner.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)


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