Knowledge and Practical Interests

Knowledge and Practical Interests

3.76 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
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Jason Stanley presents a startling and provocative claim about knowledge: that whether or not someone knows a proposition at a given time is in part determined by his or her practical interests, i.e. by how much is at stake for that person at that time. So whether a true belief is knowledge is not merely a matter of supporting beliefs or reliability; in the case of knowledge, practical rationality and theoretical rationality are intertwined. Stanley defends this
thesis against alternative accounts of the phenomena that motivate it, such as the claim that knowledge attributions are linguistically context-sensitive (contextualism about knowledge attributions), and the claim that the truth of a knowledge claim is somehow relative to the person making the claim
(relativism about knowledge).

In the course of his argument Stanley introduces readers to a number of strategies for resolving philosophical paradox, making the book essential not just for specialists in epistemology but for all philosophers interested in philosophical methodology. Since a number of his strategies appeal to linguistic evidence, it will be of great interest to linguists as well.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 204 pages
  • 134 x 199 x 12mm | 239g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199230439
  • 9780199230433
  • 859,774

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Contextualism ; 2. Knowledge Ascriptions and Gradability ; 3. Knowledge Ascriptions and Context-Sensitivity ; 4. Contextualism on the Cheap? ; 5. Interest-Relative Invariantism ; 6. Interest-Relative Invariantism vs. Contextualism ; 7. Interest-Relative Invariantism vs. Relativism ; 8. Contextualism, Interest-Relativism, and Philosophical Paradox ; 9. Conclusion
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Review quote

Needless to say, I find Stanley's book extremely important and powerfully argued. I recommend it highly, not only to those interested in recent debates over the semantics of knowledge attributions, for whom it is absolutely essential, but also to anyone with a healthy interest in what knowledge is - and indeed to anybody who enjoys well-executed, insightful philosophy books * Keith DeRose, Mind * Jason Stanleys Knowledge and Practical Interests is a brilliant book, combining insights about knowledge with a careful examination of how recent views in epistemology fit with the best of recent linguistic semantics. * Gilbert Harman, Princeton University *
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Rating details

21 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 24% (5)
4 48% (10)
3 14% (3)
2 10% (2)
1 5% (1)
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