Contextualism and Skepticism — draft of chapter

link pdf

Does the contextualist seek to dissolve disputes over skepticism? And does she use a “perfectly general strategy” for doing so? Is she not interested in, or not addressing, the traditional topic of whether we really know things, instead addressing how the word “know” should be used? Is she engaged in philosophy of language instead of epistemology? Is she addressing the more important types of skeptic? And what are those? Are key aspects of her position inexpressible, by her own lights? Is she subject to a “factivity problem”? These and other questions are answered in this draft of my 4th chapter of the book I’ve been working on. Please let me know if there are other pressing worries I don’t address, or if there’s some problem with some of my answers.
For my part, I’ll be happy if I just never again have to hear anything like “The contextualist only answers the high standards skeptic.”
Oh, I forgot: :)

I suppose one question I don’t explicitly address here is whether I construe myself as
doing “ordinary language philosophy.” I’m not sure what that would be, or if I’m doing
it, but at and around the top of p. 24, I am explaining/defending one aspect of my
approach that I suppose could be construed as a way that I have at least partly taken
some “linguistic turn.”

Edinburgh 5th Annual Graduate Epistemology Conference

Registration for the University of Edinburgh 5th Annual Graduate Epistemology Conference is now open (27th-28th May 2015). Our keynote speakers this year will be Elizabeth Fricker (Oxford) and Jennifer Nagel (Toronto). Attendance is free and includes lunch and refreshments on both days. There will also be an optional conference dinner for an additional £20.

Please register online here in order to help us make appropriate catering arrangements.

Further details can be found on the conference webpage.

This conference is generously sponsored by the Eidyn Research Centre, the University of Edinburgh, the Scots Philosophical Association, the Mind Association and the Analysis Trust, and is supported by the Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group.

The 10th CSSiP on “Imagining, Knowing, Doing”

will take place in Cologne, September 28 through October 2, 2015. Our special guest in this year’s anniversary edition will be Timothy Williamson (Oxford University). Williamson is widely regarded as one of the greatest living philosophers. Over the last few decades, he has massively reshaped central parts of philosophy in general and epistemology in particular. Williamson defends a number of strikingly unorthodox ideas: that knowledge plays a fundamental role in epistemology and action (i.e., knowledge-first epistemology), that thought-experimentation and other armchair methods are not based on rational intuition or conceptual competence but on our empirically shaped imagination, or that justification and epistemic norms must be understood in a radically externalist way. The Summer School will focus on these and other Williamsonian themes in epistemology. It mainly aims at professional philosophers and graduate students.

Attendance is free, but limited to 50 participants – to be selected on the basis of motivation and qualification. Online application is possible through May 15. Please add a short letter that sketches your academic background and main motivation for participating in the Summer School. If you are interested in giving a brief presentation (approx. 20 minutes) related to Williamson’s work, please also send an abstract of no more than 1,000 words. We will inform you about the success of your application soon after the deadline.

Apply via email to:

For more information, please visit the website:

Winners of the Young Epistemologist Prize 2015

The winners of the Young Epistemologist Prize 2015 are:

Jason Konek (University of Bristol) for his paper “Epistemic Conservativity and Imprecise Credence”

Clayton Littlejohn (Kings College London) for his paper “Stop Making Sense? On a Puzzle About Rationality”

The papers will be presented at the Rutgers Epistemology Conference, May 8 & 9 and will be published in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.


Final CfP: 5th Annual Edinburgh Graduate Epistemology Conference

Final Call For Papers:

The 5th Annual Edinburgh Graduate Epistemology Conference will take place 27th-28th May 2015. The keynote speakers will be Elizabeth Fricker (Oxford) and Jennifer Nagel (Toronto). All graduate presentations will have respondents from faculty members at Edinburgh or a neighbouring university.

We are inviting graduate students to submit essays within any area of epistemology (broadly construed). Essays should be approximately 4000 words, and should be anonymised for blind review.

We would really like the conference to be representative of the graduate community and so we strongly encourage submissions from anyone working on epistemology who is a member of an under-represented group. We will be happy to help arrange free childcare for any attendees who would find it helpful. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss this, or any accessibility requirements you may have.

The deadline for submissions is 1st March 2015. For more information, including details of how to submit, please visit our conference page.

This conference is generously sponsored by the Eidyn Research Centre, the University of Edinburgh, the Scots Philosophical Association and the Mind Association, and is supported by the Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group.

Call for Abstracts on Knowledge and Agency

Fourth Annual Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) Conference

September 4-5, 2015 // The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Theme: Knowledge and Agency

Keynote Speakers:
Candace Vogler (David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy, University of
John Schwenkler (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University)

Abstracts (of 2-3 double-spaced pages, prepared for blind review) due by May 15, 2015 by e-mail to EJ Coffman (

Much important and influential recent work in analytic philosophy lies at the intersection of epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of action and explores some or other of the following broad questions:
– Are action-theoretic concepts central to the nature of knowledge?
– What must you know in order to act (rationally, intentionally, freely, accountably)?
– How can you know about what you do (rationally, intentionally, freely, accountably)?
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Workshop Announcement: Perspectives on Curiosity

Workshop: Perspectives on Curiosity

Time and Place:
March 31st 2015, 9:00am-5:20pm
Western Washington University, Bellingham WA
Viking Union Room 462

Abrol Fairweather (San Francisco State University)
Carlos Montemayor (San Francisco State University)
Ilhan Inan (Bogazici University)
Safiye Yigit (Bogazici University)
Kent Dunnington (Greenville College)
Nathan Ballantyne (Fordham University)

This workshop is open to anyone in the world; but please email Dennis Whitcomb in advance at if you plan to attend.

Registration is free; but again, please email Dennis Whitcomb in advance if you plan to attend.

This workshop focuses on curiosity, and all of its speakers will be presenting new work on that topic. Some of this work should be available for pre-reading by conference attendees, who will be encouraged to pre-read it.

The timing of this workshop dovetails with that of the 2015 Pacific APA, which starts the day after it in Vancouver BC, which is a short drive north of Bellingham. The workshop it is therefore something of an APA pre-conference. We encourage APA participants to add the workshop to their trips.

CFP: FEW at Wash U, Deadline Jan 16

CFP: FEW at Wash U
Posted on September 23, 2014 by Trent Dougherty
Call for Papers: Formal Epistemology Workshop 2015

May 20-22, 2015 (Wednesday to Friday)
Washington University in St. Louis

Keynote speakers:
Tom Kelly (Princeton), Jeff Horty (University of Maryland, College Park)

The Formal Epistemology Workshop will be held in connection with the 2015 meeting of the St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality (SLACRR), which will take place immediately before, from May 17-19, 2015.

There will be conference sessions all day on May 20 & 21, and in the morning on May 22.

Contributors are invited to send full papers (suitable for presenting as a 40 minute talk) to by Friday, January 16, 2015. Papers should be accompanied by abstracts of up to 300 words. Identifying information about the author(s) including obvious self-citations) should be removed from the body of the paper, but the name (and any other relevant information) should be included in the text of the e-mail.

Submissions should be prepared for anonymous review. Initial evaluation will be done anonymously. The final program will be selected with an eye towards maintaining diversity, so graduate students, people outside the tenure track, women, and members of underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to submit papers. Submitting the same paper to both FEW and SLACRR is permitted (though the organizers will coordinate the paper selection in order to ensure that the same paper doesn’t get presented at both conferences).

Final selection of the contributed talks will be made by March 31, 2015.

There will be childcare available for conference participants who bring their children. It will be provided on site by a local certified childcare provider.

Organizers: Kenny Easwaran (Texas A&M), Julia Staffel (Washington University in St. Louis), Mike Titelbaum (UW Madison)

Conference webpage: