Synthese 199 (1-2):3945-3967 (2021)

Changsheng (Lex) Lai
Shanghai JiaoTong University
Epistemic absolutism is an orthodox view that propositional knowledge is an ungradable concept. Absolutism is primarily grounded in our ungradable uses of “knows” in ordinary language. This paper advances a thorough objection to the linguistic argument for absolutism. My objection consists of two parts. Firstly, arguments for absolutism provided by Jason Stanley and Julien Dutant will be refuted respectively. After that, two more general refutation-strategies will be proposed: counterevidence against absolutism can be found in both English and non-English languages; the linguistic argument for absolutism is subject to a methodological mistake as the linguistic usages of “knows” cannot accurately reflect its conceptual nature. Therefore, we should give epistemic gradualism, as opposed to absolutism, a more serious consideration.
Keywords epistemic gradualism  epistemic absolutism  linguistic intuition  gradability
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02964-x
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References found in this work BETA

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.

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Epistemic Gradualism Versus Epistemic Absolutism.Changsheng Lai - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (1):1-22.

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