A. Virtue Epistemology > J. Adam Carter on "Relativism, Knowledge, and Understanding"

J. Adam Carter extends his work on understanding with this draft of a paper forthcoming in Episteme. The topic should remind readings of the soon-upcoming deadline on project proposals to the Varieties of Understanding Project [see recent post]

ABSTRACT: The arguments for and against a truth-relativist semantics for propositional knowledge attributions (KTR) have been debated almost exclusively in the philosophy of language. But what implications would this semantic thesis have in epistemology? This question has been largely unexplored. The aim of this paper is to establish and critique
several ramifications of KTR in mainstream epistemology. The first section of the paper develops, over a series of arguments, the claim that MacFarlane’s (2005; 2010) core argument for KTR ultimately motivates (for better or worse) the extension of a truth relativist semantics to a subset of understanding attributions—attributions of understandingwhy.
I conclude by presenting some reasons to think that even if KTR were otherwise plausible, a truth-relativist semantics for understanding-why attributions is not. These claims, taken together, constitute a kind of epistemological argument against MacFarlanestyle truth-relativism for knowledge attributions.

This draft paper is available at
September 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterGuy Axtell