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Epistemic Intuitions and Epistemic Contextualism

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In this paper I examine the way appeals to pretheoretic intuition are used to support epistemological theses in general and the thesis of epistemic contextualism in particular. After outlining the sceptical puzzle and the contextualist's resolution of that puzzle, I explore the question of whether this solution fits better with our intuitive take on the puzzle than its invariantist rivals. I distinguish two kinds of fit a theory might have with pretheoretic intuitions—accommodation and explanation, and consider whether achieving either kind of fit would be a virtue for a theory. I then examine how contextualism could best claim to accommodate and explain our intuitions, building the best case that I can for contextualism, but concluding that there is no reason to accept contextualism either in the way it accommodates nor the way it explains our intuitions about the sceptical puzzle.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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