Nuñez Hernández, Nancy Abigail
Junior Fellow: October 2018–September 2019
Research Project: Reconsidering Epistemic Contextualism as an Answer to the Problem of Philosophical Scepticism
The main focus of my research is epistemic contextualism, a view that has played a central role in contemporary discussions of scepticism. Epistemic contextualism holds that knowledge attribution sentences of the form ‘S knows that p’ are context-sensitive, meaning that their truth conditions can vary from one context to another. By claiming that the same sentence can have different truth-conditions in different contexts, epistemic contextualism argues that sceptical arguments pose no threat to our claims of knowing many things in ordinary and scientific contexts, where sceptical conclusions are regarded as invalid. Many philosophers praised this view as an intuitive and elegant solution to the problem of philosophical scepticism until it was severely criticised because it does not offer an adequate semantic model to explain the context-sensitivity of knowledge attribution sentences.
The aim of this project is to address this criticism to pave the way for a reconsideration of epistemic contextualism as a solution to the problem of philosophical scepticism. To achieve this aim, I will argue that epistemic contextualism does not have to offer a semantic model because the context-sensitivity of knowledge attribution sentences can be explained by appealing to a relevance theory account.
Nancy Abigail Nuñez Hernández holds a PhD in philosophy from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), an MA in philosophy of science from UNAM, and an MA in philosophy, science and values from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in Spain.