Aikin, Scott F and Thomas Dabay. “A Further Note on Individualism and Contrastivism: Reply to Sawyer.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 10 (2014): 1-4.
Please refer to:
- Sawyer, Sarah. “Contrastive Self-Knowledge.” Social Epistemology 28, no. 2 (2014): 139-152.
- Aikin, Scott F and Thomas Dabay. “Contrastivism and Individualism: A Reply to Sawyer.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 6 (2014): 87-90.
- Sawyer, Sarah. “Contrastivism and Anti-Individualism: A Response to Aikin and Dabay.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 1-6.
Sawyer’s expanded argument from knowledge contrastivism to conceptual anti-individualism is now much clearer. As we understand her, the key dialectical move is to distinguish between the positive and negative contrast classes, and apply this distinction to cases of contrastive self-knowledge.
All of this comes together in the section titled “On Anti-Individualism,” specifically the third and fourth paragraphs of that section (2014b, 4) . According to Sawyer, the preconditions for the possibility of contrastive self-knowledge are
(i) that the knower, S, possess a concept, C, that occurs in the proposition she knows;
(ii) that there be a set of positively contrasting concepts to C; and
(iii) that there be a set of negatively contrasting concepts to C.
Sawyer contends that this final precondition, the existence of a negative contrast class, is impossible on an individualist account of concepts. With this, Sawyer believes she has established the conditional that if self-knowledge is contrastive in nature, then conceptual anti-individualism must be true. Continue Reading…