I'm down to my final 30 papers!!!!
My mind is stretched in all sorts of ways right now, so I thought I'd quick jot this down.
I'm wondering what the contextualist would say about this sort of example. Peter backs his car out of his driveway and hits a kid on a bike.
Bjorn and John discuss the matter in two different conversational contexts (not with each other). In Bjorn's context the standards for 'knows' are loose enough that had there been no kid there, Peter would have 'known' that the coast was clear. In John's context, however, the standards for 'knows' are stricter so that even if there had been no kid there, Peter would not have 'known' that the coast was clear. Now, it seems that Peter should have known better than to assume that the coast was clear, he could be properly blamed for hitting the kid. It also seems that if his epistemic position was such that he could have known that the coast was clear that it would be a mistake to say that he should have known better than to assume that the coast was clear.
With this in place, it seems that we have two contexts. In one, Bjorn can say that Peter's ignorance was non-culpable ignorance and blame is inappropriate. In another, John can say he should have known better than to just pull out without checking and so blame is perfectly appropriate.
Is this really tolerable? I can't help but think that what determines culpability is fixed entirely by what's in Peter's situation. I really don't like the idea that there could be two contexts in which one can properly say 'He's culpable' and another in which one can say 'He's not culpable'. Saying that, however, it seems that we'd either have to deny the link between 'knows' and 'should have known better than to assume' or the link between blame and 'should have known better than to assume'. To tie this in to earlier discussions, I'm pretty sure that there's such a thing as 'ordinary blame' and I'm pretty sure that ordinary blame interacts with knowledge. I'm starting to believe in ordinary knowledge against my better instincts.