Contextualism and Related Views II

I had a first stab at locating various options in the vicinity of contextualism, and trying to match them up with bits of terminology. The result looked like this:

SSC, Subject-sensitivity of content, ??
SST, Subject-sensitivity of truth-value, ‘subject-sensitive content-invariantism’
USC, Utterer-sensitivity of content, ‘contextualism’, ‘indexicalism’
UST, Utterer-sensitivity of truth-value, ‘utterer-sensitive content-invariantism’
ASC, Assessor-sensitivity of content, ‘content-relativism’
AST, Assessor-sensitivity of truth-value, ‘truth-relativism’

Things to note about this classification are:
i. ‘Sensitivity of content’ means sensitivity of sentence-content, but ‘sensitivity of truth-value’ means sensitivity of propositional truth-value, not sentence truth-value (otherwise SC views would give rise to corresponding ST views automatically).
ii. SSC and SST are trivial unless we restrict attention to interesting kinds of subject-sensitivity.
iii. I’m not claiming that all of these options are plausible options …

Comments welcome: is this a fair classification? Are there more positions that I’ve missed? Is there a good name for SSC?


Contextualism and Related Views II — 2 Comments

  1. Carrie,
    I have thought a bit about the differences between SSC and SST. I call SSC “subject-sensitive contextualism”. It seems to me that the two views sometimes get confused in the literature. For example, in a draft of his paper “How to be a Neo-Moorean,” your colleague Duncan Pritchard writes:
    “There are other forms of contextualism of course, such as the subject contextualism confusingly known as subject sensitive invariantism recently defended by John Hawthorne and Jason Stanley.”
    Here it seems that Pritchard is not distinguishing SSC from SST. Hawthorne and Stanley defend SST; Pritchard thinks (I take it) that they are defending SSC and confusingly labeling that view “invariantism”.

  2. Hi Leo,
    I’m a little wary of calling SSC a form of contextualism, as it seems the sensitivity could be to other features of the subject than his/her context. (E.g. maybe what it takes for a child to know is just different from what it takes for an adult to know.)

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