Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (1):1-22 (2022)

Changsheng (Lex) Lai
Shanghai JiaoTong University
Epistemic absolutism holds that knowledge‐that is ungradable, while epistemic gradualism argues the opposite. This paper purports to remodel the gradualism/absolutism debate. The current model initiated by Stephen Hetherington fails to capture the genuine divergence between the two views, which makes the debate equivocal, and the gradualist side lacks appeal. I propose that the remodeled debate should focus on whether knowledge‐that is a ‘threshold concept’ or a ‘spectrum concept’. That is, whether there is a threshold distinguishing knowledge from non‐knowledge. The reconstructed model enjoys significant advantages as it enables the debate to be more balanced and philosophically interesting.
Keywords Epistemic gradualism  epistemic absolutism  threshold concept  spectrum concept  gradability
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DOI 10.1111/papq.12356
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