Ideas from 'Contextualism Defended (and reply)' by Stewart Cohen [2005], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Contemporary Debates in Epistemology (2nd ed)' (ed/tr Steup/Turri/Sosa) [Wiley Blackwell 2014,978-0-470-67209-9]].

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13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 6. Contextual Justification / a. Contextualism
Our own intuitions about whether we know tend to vacillate
                        Full Idea: One robust feature of our intuitions about whether we know things is that they tend to vacillate.
                        From: Stewart Cohen (Contextualism Defended (and reply) [2005], 1)
                        A reaction: This strikes me as important. If we were tacit invariantists (Idea 19557) we should be able to ask ourselves whether we 'really and truly' know various things, but we can't decide. I know lots about Nietzsche in a pub, and very little in a university.
We shouldn't jump too quickly to a contextualist account of claims to know
                        Full Idea: Maybe contextualists are too quick to appeal to our conflicting intuitions regarding knowledge.
                        From: Stewart Cohen (Contextualism Defended (and reply) [2005], 1)
                        A reaction: An important point (from Earl Conee). I thoroughly approve of contextualism, but the whole status of whether a witness or a teacher knows what they are talking about is in danger of collapsing into relativism. This is what peer review is all about.
The context sensitivity of knowledge derives from its justification
                        Full Idea: On my own view, the context sensivity of knowledge is inherited from one of its components, i.e. justification.
                        From: Stewart Cohen (Contextualism Defended (and reply) [2005], 1)
                        A reaction: That sounds right, and it reinforces the idea that 'justification' is a more important epistemological concept than 'knowledge'. 'Am I justified in believing p?' Answer: 'it depends how well you have researched it'.
Contextualism is good because it allows knowledge, but bad because 'knowing' is less valued
                        Full Idea: Contextualism is a 'good news, bad news' theory. The good news is that we have lots of knowledge and many surfaces are 'flat'; the bad news is that knowledge and flatness are not all they were cracked up to be.
                        From: Stewart Cohen (Contextualism Defended (and reply) [2005], 3)
                        A reaction: That is exactly my position. I lost all interest in whether someone precisely 'knows' or 'does not know' something a long time ago (even in scientific or forensic contexts). In the case of flatness the case is even more obvious.
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 6. Scepticism Critique
Contextualists slightly concede scepticism, but only in extremely strict contexts
                        Full Idea: Contextualism concedes that there is some truth to skepticism, but contains the damage by holding that skeptical claims are true only relative to atypically strict contexts.
                        From: Stewart Cohen (Contextualism Defended (and reply) [2005], 1)
                        A reaction: My attitude to scepticism is that everything we ever affirm should have a footnote saying '...but you never know...', and it should then be ignored. In the strictest context everything is doubted simultaneously (including language), and that is paralysis.