Pragmatic encroachment its problems are your problems!

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The thesis of pragmatic encroachment about knowledge holds that whether a subject knows that p can vary due to differences in practical stakes, holding fixed the strength of the subject's epistemic position with respect to p. Accepting pragmatic encroachment about knowledge brings with it a significant explanatory burden: if knowledge varies with the stakes, why does knowledge show so many signs of staying fixed with variations in the stakes? This chapter argues that explanatory burdens of this general kind are harder to avoid than is commonly thought: even if you deny the stakes-sensitivity of knowledge, you will be stuck accepting the stakes-sensitivity of other statuses which, like knowledge, show the same signs of staying fixed with variations in the stakes. The chapter discusses two such statuses: reason-worthiness and emotion-worthiness. If the arguments succeed, then, the problems of pragmatic encroachment are everyone's problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNormativity
Subtitle of host publicationEpistemic and Practical
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780198758709
StatePublished - Mar 22 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Emotion-worthiness
  • Knowledge
  • Pragmatic encroachment
  • Reason-worthiness
  • Stakes-sensitivity

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  • Cite this

    McGrath, M. (2018). Pragmatic encroachment its problems are your problems! In Normativity: Epistemic and Practical (pp. 162-178). Oxford University Press.