Volume 6, Issue 2, 2006
Contextualism in Doubt
This paper is a critical examination of epistemological contextualism as a response to the skeptical challenge with focus upon Michael Williams’ version. Unclarities in his response are initially pointed out and various unsatisfactory ways of elaborating upon them discussed. Next, it is argued that Williams’ candidate epistemological realism with the priority thesis at its core does not provide the key to how traditional epistemology becomes exposed to skepticism. The thesis that knowledge-claims necessarily are justified with recourse to sensory experience and the principle of underdetermination are instead advanced as the features that skepticism exploit. At last, a case is made that both these claims are accepted by contextualism, and that it therefore is as exposed to skepticism as traditional epistemology is.