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Knowledge and Practical Interests [Hardcover]

Jason Stanley

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Book Description

April 7 2006 Lines of Thought
Jason Stanley presents a startling and provocative claim about knowledge: that whether or not someone knows a proposition at a given time is in part determined by his or her practical interests, i.e. by how much is at stake for that person at that time. So whether a true belief is knowledge is not merely a matter of supporting beliefs or reliability; in the case of knowledge, practical rationality and theoretical rationality are intertwined. Stanley defends this thesis against alternative accounts of the phenomena that motivate it, such as the claim that knowledge attributions are linguistically context-sensitive (contextualism about knowledge attributions), and the claim that the truth of a knowledge claim is somehow relative to the person making the claim (relativism about knowledge). In the course of his argument Stanley introduces readers to a number of strategies for resolving philosophical paradox, making the book essential not just for specialists in epistemology but for all philosophers interested in philosophical methodology. Since a number of his strategies appeal to linguistic evidence, it will be of great interest to linguists as well.

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This book is deep and genuinely interesting...this is a book that deserves respect and applause. Alessandro Capone Needless to say, I find Stanley's book extremely important and powerfully argued. I recommend it highly, not only to those interested in recent debates over the semantics of knowledge attributions, for whom it is absolutely essential, but also to anyone with a healthy interest in what knowledge is - and indeed to anybody who enjoys well-executed, insightful philosophy books Keith DeRose, Mind Jason Stanleys Knowledge and Practical Interests is a brilliant book, combining insights about knowledge with a careful examination of how recent views in epistemology fit with the best of recent linguistic semantics. Gilbert Harman, Princeton University Stanley's book ... is a model of clarity and showcases one of philosophy's brightest young things at his best ... a great, wide-ranging, must-read book ... This is a book that is rich with insight and argument and which has a broad philosophical reach. These features of the book by themselves ensure that it is essential reading. Duncan Pritchard, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author

Jason Stanley is at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A central part of epistemology, as traditionally conceived, consists of the study of the factors in virtue of which someone's true belief is an instance of knowledge. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge and Practical Interests Jan. 7 2008
By rodrigo - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Certainly among the most important works in contemporary epistemology recently, 'Knowledge and Practical Interests' contains the best arguments available against contextualism and also one of the most exciting original approaches to epistemology: subject sensitive invariantism. Obligatory reading for anyone interested in contemporary epistemology.
4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pragmatic Epistemology Jan. 5 2007
By John M. Gowan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stanley is a young but extraordinary philosopher. If epistemology is your interest, then this book is on the cutting edge of the topic. Stanley links our needs and perhaps our desires with what we consider to be knowledge. He does it well, with each chapter breaking down his argument and offering up alternative theories. At some points, the book becomes a bit tedious, but in dealing with theories of knowledge, that is understandable. If pragmatism plays into your philosophy of life, then Stanley is your man.

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