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postgraduate thesis: Knowledge and description

TitleKnowledge and description
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Abstract
It has been debated whether knowledge attributions are descriptions of the world. Descriptivists argue that they are. Non-cognitivists discover that knowledge attributions have characteristics that are not shared by paradigm cases of descriptions. Most forms of non-cognitivism therefore deny that knowledge attributions are descriptions of the world. This thesis approaches the debate using data from the ordinary use of language. It is argued that a prominent form of descriptivism, attributor contextualism, is in conflict with treating ordinary use of simple knowledge attributions as true. This treatment of ordinary language is adopted by prominent contextualists, and is what distinguishes contextualism from its main rival, invariantism. The conflict is generalized to descriptivism in general so that either descriptivism or the treatment of simple ordinary use of the language as true has to be given up. Various arguments for and against such treatment of ordinary language and descriptivism’s alternative, non-cognitivism, are examined respectively. It is held that although many forms of non-cognitivism are problematic, whether non-cognitivism is a true thesis still remains open. It is also argued that despite its initial plausibility, the treatment of simple ordinary use of indicative language as true is not as attractive as it first appears to be. Since we are not forced to accept treating simple ordinary knowledge attributions as true, as far as the conflict between the two goes, we are not forced to give up descriptivism, either. However, non-cognitivism remains an attractive alternative to descriptivism.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectKnowledge, Theory of.
Description (Philosophy)
Dept/ProgramPhilosophy

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorHawley, P-
dc.contributor.advisorDeutsch, ME-
dc.contributor.authorWang, Qin-
dc.contributor.author王沁-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.description.abstractIt has been debated whether knowledge attributions are descriptions of the world. Descriptivists argue that they are. Non-cognitivists discover that knowledge attributions have characteristics that are not shared by paradigm cases of descriptions. Most forms of non-cognitivism therefore deny that knowledge attributions are descriptions of the world. This thesis approaches the debate using data from the ordinary use of language. It is argued that a prominent form of descriptivism, attributor contextualism, is in conflict with treating ordinary use of simple knowledge attributions as true. This treatment of ordinary language is adopted by prominent contextualists, and is what distinguishes contextualism from its main rival, invariantism. The conflict is generalized to descriptivism in general so that either descriptivism or the treatment of simple ordinary use of the language as true has to be given up. Various arguments for and against such treatment of ordinary language and descriptivism’s alternative, non-cognitivism, are examined respectively. It is held that although many forms of non-cognitivism are problematic, whether non-cognitivism is a true thesis still remains open. It is also argued that despite its initial plausibility, the treatment of simple ordinary use of indicative language as true is not as attractive as it first appears to be. Since we are not forced to accept treating simple ordinary knowledge attributions as true, as far as the conflict between the two goes, we are not forced to give up descriptivism, either. However, non-cognitivism remains an attractive alternative to descriptivism.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47869896-
dc.subject.lcshKnowledge, Theory of.-
dc.subject.lcshDescription (Philosophy)-
dc.titleKnowledge and description-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4786989-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelmaster's-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePhilosophy-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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