Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

Epistemic Contextualism: A Defense


This book develops and defends a version of epistemic contextualism, that is, of the view that the truth conditions or the meaning of knowledge attributions of the form “S knows that p” can vary with the context of the attributor. The first part of the book is about arguments for contextualism and develops a particular version of it. The first chapter deals with the argument from cases and ordinary usage. More weight, however, is put on more “theoretical” arguments: arguments from reliability (Chapter 2) and from luck (Chapter 3). The second part of the book discusses problems contextualism faces and to which it needs to respond as well as an extension of contextualism beyond epistemology. Chapter 4 discusses “lottery-skepticism” and argues for a contextualist response (further developing the view, like the following chapter). Chapter 5 is dedicated to a homemade problem for contextualism: a threat of inconsistency. It argues for a way out and for a version of contextualism that can underwrite this solution. Chapter 6 proposes a contextualist account of responsibility: the concept of knowledge is not the only one which allows for a contextualist analysis and it is important to explore structural analogies in other areas of philosophy. The third part of the book is about some major objections to contextualism (Chapter 7) and about alternative views, namely subject-sensitive invariantism, contrastivism, and relativism (Chapter 8).

Published By

Oxford University Press


The introduction of this work is freely available courtesy of Oxford University Press.

This material was originally published in Epistemic Contextualism: A Defense by Peter Baumann, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit

Find in Tripod

Included in

Philosophy Commons