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The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. 1 Hardcover – June 22, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0199564460 ISBN-10: 0199564469

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199564469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199564460
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,855,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This book contains some of the most important work on contextualism and related topics; it represents a very important contribution to contemporary epistemology... it is worth reading even for those who are already familiar with DeRose's work (and not just because of the new material). He offers original and subtle arguments for contextualism, defends it very ably against objections and addresses problems (and potential drawbacks of contextualism) head-on. DeRose is really making the case for contextualism. The book is provocative and stimulating; there is a lot to think about further and respond to. I, personally, think that DeRose is right on many things and especially on his basic claims. But no matter whether you agree with him or not: I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in epistemology. Peter Baumann, Analysis he succeeds in establishing that the contextualist has many more resources for responding to apparent objections than is sometimes recognized - the book, therefore, fills an important role in reminding the reader that contextualism is still an option to be taken seriously Jonathan Ichikawa, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author

Keith DeRose is Allison Foundation Professor of Philosophy at Yale University.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Customer on August 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Case for Contextualism" is Keith DeRose's most up-to-date defense of Contextualism--the view that states, roughly, that the truth of our knowledge ascriptions is dictated by their context. (E.g., in one context, with low standards for knowledge, one may truthfully assert `S knows P,' whereas someone else in a high standards context may truthfully assert `S does not know P.') DeRose's defense of Contextualism--in this volume, at least--appeals to the philosophy of language, specifically, knowledge attributions. He develops, at some length, several concrete thought experiments involving knowledge attributions and uses them to both argue for Contextualism and critique Contextualism's main rivals--Classical Invariantism and Subject-Sensitive Invariantism.

The book incorporates several of DeRose's previous articles, some chapters even retaining the same title as the articles. What's useful about the book, though, is that it updates those articles; DeRose spends a lot of time responding to objections to those earlier works. Sometimes there is repetition in material, but it's not substantial and DeRose often simply refers the reader to the relevant portion of the book for further details. One particularly nice feature of this book is that DeRose spends a lot of time developing his arguments so that they are intuitive. The arguments are clearly well-thought out and phrased carefully. (The consequence, thought, is that the book seems slightly narrow--focusing on a limited number of cases of knowledge attributions. But I believe there's a second volume, which is meant to widen the defense by utilizing considerations from epistemology, specifically, a solution to skepticism.) The writing is not difficult, and a motivated undergraduate could make sense of the majority of the book. All-in-all, The Case for Contextualism provides a persuasive case for Contextualism, and will probably become the standard defense for the view for some time.
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