Virtues, Social Roles, and Contextualism
Metaphilosophy, volume 41, pp. 95 - 114.
Contextualism in epistemology has been
proposed both as a way to avoid skepticism and as an explanation for
the variability found in our use of "knows." When we turn to
contextualism to perform these two functions, we should ensure that the
version we endorse is well suited for these tasks. I compare two
versions of epistemic contextualism: attributor contextualism (from
Keith DeRose) and methodological contextualism (from Michael Williams).
I argue that methodological contextualism is superior both in its
response to skepticism and in its mechanism for changing contexts.
However, methodological contextualism still faces two challenges:
explaining why we are solidly committed to some contexts, and
explaining why knowledge within a context is valuable. I propose virtue
contextualism as a useful extension of methodological contextualism,
focusing on the way that our virtues depend on our social roles. My
proposed virtue contextualism retains the benefits of methodological
contextualism while explaining both our commitment to particular
contexts and the value of knowledge held within those contexts.
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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Wednesday, March 03, 2010