In defence of a perspectival semantics for 'know'

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30 Scopus citations


Relativism offers an ingenious way of accommodating most of our intuitions about 'know': the truth-value of sentences containing 'know' is a function of parameters determined by a context of use and a context of assessment. This sort of double-indexing provides a more adequate account of the linguistic data involving 'know' than does standard contextualism. However, relativism has come under recent attack: it supposedly cannot account for the factivity of 'know', and it entails, counterintuitively, that circumstances of evaluation have features that cannot be shifted by any intensional operator. I offer replies to these objections on behalf of the relativist. I then argue that a version of contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to contexts of assessment. This version of contextualism is thus preferable to relativism on methodological grounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-459
Number of pages21
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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