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The recent popularity of contextualist treatments of the key epistemic concepts has tended to obscure the differences that exist between the various kinds of contextualist theses on offer. The aim of this paper is to contribute towards rectifying this problem by exploring two of the main formulations of the contextualist position currently on offer in the literature—the 'semantic' contextualist thesis put forward by Keith DeRose and David Lewis, and the 'inferential' contextualist thesis advanced by Michael Williams. It is argued that by evaluating these theses in the light of each other one can gain a deeper understanding of the contextualist position. In particular, it is argued that this relative evaluation highlights one interesting way in which contextualism might be developed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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