WAM! BAM! POW! A theory is born.

WAM! BAM! POW! A theory is born.

Linguistic Intuitions in Context: A Defense of Nonskeptical Pure Invariantism

Turri, J. (2014). Linguistic intuitions in context: a defense of nonskeptical pure invariantism. In A. Booth & D. Rowbottom (Eds.), Intuitions (pp. 165–184). Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Epistemic invariantism is the view that the truth conditions of knowledge ascriptions don’t vary across contexts. Epistemic purism is the view that purely practical factors can’t directly affect the strength of your epistemic position. The combination of purism and invariantism, pure invariantism, is the received view in contemporary epistemology. It has lately been criticized by contextualists, who deny invariantism, and impurists, who deny purism. A central charge against pure invariantism is that it poorly accommodates linguistic intuitions about certain cases. In this paper I develop a new response to this charge. I propose that pure invariantists can explain the relevant linguistic intuitions on the grounds that they track the propriety of indirect speech acts, in particular indirect requests and denials. [Note: this paper was written in 2010-11.]


John Turri