Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Stephen Jacobson - Chair

Second Advisor

Andrea Scarantino

Third Advisor

George Rainbolt


External world skeptics argue that we have no knowledge of the external world. Contextualist theories of knowledge attempt to address the skeptical problem by maintaining that arguments for skepticism are effective only in certain contexts in which the standards for knowledge are so high that we cannot reach them. In ordinary contexts, however, the standards for knowledge fall back down to reachable levels and we again are able to have knowledge of the external world. In order to address the objection that contextualists confuse the standards for knowledge with the standards for warranted assertion, Keith DeRose appeals to the knowledge account of warranted assertion to argue that if one is warranted in asserting p, one also knows p. A skeptic, however, can maintain a context-invariant view of the knowledge account of assertion, in which case such an account would not provide my help to contextualism.

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