About this topic
Summary Defeat in epistemology focuses on the idea that one's justification or evidence or reasons for believing, and thus one's knowledge, may be defeated in some way by "defeaters." Views diverge over what defeaters are (whether they are mental states, or propositions, or facts, or some combination thereof). Views also diverge over how defeat works (e.g. whether they are what Pollock called "undercutting" or "rebutting," or whether defeaters attack one's reasons, one's evidence, or simply whether one knows or is justified in believing).  The debate over defeat extends to issues surrounding the rationality of belief that p in the face of higher-order belief or evidence concerning whether one's belief (or credence) in p is reliable or rational; to the conditions, if any, under which one may be dogmatic toward information one regards as misleading; and to formal epistemology's interest in capturing how one's credence ought to change given incoming evidence.
Key works The contemporary discussion originates with Chisholm 1966 and Pollock 1986 (Ch. 3) / Pollock 1987; for "defeasibility" theories of knowledge, see Klein 1976. For discussion of defeaters as mental states, see Bergmann 2005 and Bergmann 2006, Ch. 6. For a "normative defeaters" view on which defeaters may be propositions one ought to believe, see Goldberg 2016, Goldberg 2017, and Benton 2016. For two ways of characterizing defeat, see Kvanvig 2007. For discussion of higher-order evidence and its bearing on rational belief, see Horowitz 2014Lasonen-Aarnio 2014, and Schoenfield 2015; for related matters in the epistemology of disagreement, see Christensen & Lackey 2013. For work casting doubt on the viability of knowledge defeat, see Lasonen-Aarnio 2010 and Baker-Hytch & Benton 2015
Introductions Grundmann 2011
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  1. Phenomenal Explanationism and the Look of Things.Kevin McCain & Luca Moretti - manuscript
    Matthew McGrath has recently challenged all theories that allow for immediate perceptual justification. This challenge comes by way of arguing for what he calls the “Looks View” of visual justification, which entails that our visual beliefs that are allegedly immediately justified are in fact mediately justified based on our independent beliefs about the looks of things. This paper shows that McGrath’s arguments are unsound or, at the very least, that they do not cause genuine concern for the species of dogmatism (...)
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  2. The Structure of Defeat: Pollock's Evidentialism, Lackey's Framework, and Prospects for Reliabilism.Peter J. Graham & Jack C. Lyons - forthcoming - In Jessica Brown & Mona Simion (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeaters. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic defeat is standardly understood in either evidentialist or responsibilist terms. The seminal treatment of defeat is an evidentialist one, due to John Pollock, who famously distinguishes between undercutting and rebutting defeaters. More recently, an orthogonal distinction due to Jennifer Lackey has become widely endorsed, between so-called doxastic (or psychological) and normative defeaters. We think that neither doxastic nor normative defeaters, as Lackey understands them, exist. Both of Lackey’s categories of defeat derive from implausible assumptions about epistemic responsibility. Although Pollock’s (...)
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  3. An Explanationist Account of Genealogical Defeat.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Sometimes, learning about the origins of a belief can make it irrational to continue to hold that belief—a phenomenon we call ‘genealogical defeat’. According to explanationist accounts, genealogical defeat occurs when one learns that there is no appropriate explanatory connection between one’s belief and the truth. Flatfooted versions of explanationism have been widely and rightly rejected on the grounds that they would disallow beliefs about the future and other inductively-formed beliefs. After motivating the need for some explanationist account, we raise (...)
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  4. Dispositional Evaluations and Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - forthcoming - In Jessica and Simion Brown (ed.), Reasons, Justification and Defeat. Oxford, UK:
    Subjects who retain their beliefs in the face of higher-order evidence that those very beliefs are outputs of flawed cognitive processes are at least very often criticisable. Many think that this is because such higher-order evidence defeats various epistemic statuses such as justification and knowledge, but it is notoriously difficult to give an account of such defeat. This paper outlines an alternative explanation, stemming from some of my earlier work, for why subjects are criticisable for retaining beliefs in the face (...)
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  5. Defeaters as Indicators of Ignorance.Clayton Litlejohn & Julien Dutant - forthcoming - In Mona Simion & Jessica Brown (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper, we propose a new theory of rationality defeat. We propose that defeaters are indicators of ignorance, evidence that we’re not in a position to know some target proposition. When the evidence that we’re not in a position to know is sufficiently strong and the probability that we can know is too low, it is not rational to believe. We think that this account retains all the virtues of the more familiar approaches that characterise defeat in terms of (...)
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  6. Enriched Perceptual Content and the Limits of Foundationalism.Errol Lord - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    This paper is about the epistemology of perceptual experiences that have enriched high-level content. Enriched high-level content is content about features other than shape, color, and spatial relations that has a particular etiology. Its etiology runs through states of the agent that process other perceptual content and output sensory content about high-level features. My main contention is that the justification provided by such experiences (for claims about the high-level content) is not foundational justification. This is because the justification provided by (...)
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  7. Suspension, Higher-Order Evidence, and Defeat.Errol Lord & Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In Mona Simion & Jessica Brown (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford University Press.
  8. Global Debunking Arguments.Andrew Moon - forthcoming - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments. Routledge.
    This chapter explores global debunking arguments, debunking arguments that aim to give one a global defeater. I defend Alvin Plantinga’s view that global defeaters are possible and, once gained, are impossible to escape by reasoning. They thereby must be extinguished by other means: epistemically propitious actions, luck, or grace. I then distinguish between three types of global defeater—pure-undercutters, undercutters-because-rebutters, and undercutters-while-rebutters—and systematically consider how one can deflect such defeaters. Lastly, since I draw insights from the literature on perhaps the most (...)
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  9. Losing Knowledge by Thinking About Thinking.Jennifer Nagel - forthcoming - In Jessica Brown & Mona Simion (eds.), Reasons, Justification and Defeat. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Defeat cases are often taken to show that even the most securely-based judgment can be rationally undermined by misleading evidence. Starting with some best-case scenario for perceptual knowledge, for example, it is possible to undermine the subject’s confidence in her sensory faculties until it becomes unreasonable for her to persist in her belief. Some have taken such cases to indicate that any basis for knowledge is rationally defeasible; others have argued that there can be unreasonable knowledge. I argue that defeat (...)
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  10. Structured Argumentation Dynamics: Undermining Attacks in Default Justification Logic.Stipe Pandžić - forthcoming - Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence:1-41.
    This paper develops a logical theory that unifies all three standard types of argumentative attack in AI, namely rebutting, undercutting and undermining attacks. We build on default justification logic that already represents undercutting and rebutting attacks, and we add undermining attacks. Intuitively, undermining does not target default inference, as undercutting, or default conclusion, as rebutting, but rather attacks an argument’s premise as a starting point for default reasoning. In default justification logic, reasoning starts from a set of premises, which is (...)
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  11. Epistemic Defeaters.Tommaso Piazza - forthcoming - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    You reach for the bowl with ‘sugar’ written on it only to discover, from the bad taste of your coffee, that it contained salt. Mundane experiences like these show that epistemic justification does not necessarily hold stable across possible changes of information. One can be justified in believing a proposition at a certain time (that the bowl contains sugar) and cease to be justified at a later time, as one enlarges one’s epistemic perspective (as one drinks a salty coffee). When (...)
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  12. Experience and Defeat.Nicholas Silins - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
  13. Two Accounts of Assertion.Martin Smith - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In this paper I will compare two competing accounts of assertion: the knowledge account and the justified belief account. When it comes to the evidence that is typically used to assess accounts of assertion – including the evidence form lottery propositions, the evidence from Moore’s paradoxical propositions and the evidence from conversational patterns – I will argue that the justified belief account has at least as much explanatory power as its rival. I will argue, finally, that a close look at (...)
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  14. The Hardest Paradox for Closure.Martin Smith - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    According to the principle of Conjunction Closure, if one has justification for believing each of a set of propositions, one has justification for believing their conjunction. The lottery and preface paradoxes can both be seen as posing challenges for Closure, but leave open familiar strategies for preserving the principle. While this is all relatively well-trodden ground, a new Closure-challenging paradox has recently emerged, in two somewhat different forms, due to Marvin Backes (2019a) and Francesco Praolini (2019). This paradox synthesises elements (...)
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  15. Undercutting Defeat and Edgington's Burglar.Scott Sturgeon - forthcoming - In Lee Walters John Hawthorne (ed.), Conditionals, Probability & Paradox: themes from the Philosophy of Dorothy Edgington.
    This paper does four things. First it lays out an orthodox position on reasons and defeaters. Then it argues that the position just laid out is mistaken about “undercutting” defeaters. Then the paper explains an unpublished thought experiment by Dorothy Edgington. And then it uses that thought experiment to motivate a new approach to undercutting defeaters.
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  16. Recent Work on Higher-Order Evidence.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A critical survey of recent work in epistemology on higher-order evidence. It discusses the nature of higher-order evidence, some puzzles it raises, responses to those puzzles, and problems facing them. It concludes by indicating connections between debates concerning higher-order evidence in epistemology and parallel debates in ethics and aesthetics.
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  17. Disqualifying ‘Disqualifiers’.B. J. C. Madison - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (2):202-214.
    In addition to the notion of defeat, do we need to expand the epistemological repertoire used in accounting for the context dependence of justification? It has recently been argued that we ought to admit a hitherto unrecognized fundamental epistemic kind called ‘disqualifiers’. Disqualifiers are taken to be not reducible to any other epistemic notion. Rather, they are meant to be primitive. If this is correct, it is a surprising and novel discovery, and so it is worthy of further epistemological investigation. (...)
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  18. A Logic of Defeasible Argumentation: Constructing Arguments in Justification Logic.Stipe Pandžić - 2022 - Argument and Computation 13 (1):3-47.
    In the 1980s, Pollock’s work on default reasons started the quest in the AI community for a formal system of defeasible argumentation. The main goal of this paper is to provide a logic of structured defeasible arguments using the language of justification logic. In this logic, we introduce defeasible justification assertions of the type t : F that read as “t is a defeasible reason that justifies F”. Such formulas are then interpreted as arguments and their acceptance semantics is given (...)
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  19. Reasons for Reliabilism.Bob Beddor - 2021 - In Jessica Brown & Mona Simion (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 146-176.
    One leading approach to justification comes from the reliabilist tradition, which maintains that a belief is justified provided that it is reliably formed. Another comes from the ‘Reasons First’ tradition, which claims that a belief is justified provided that it is based on reasons that support it. These two approaches are typically developed in isolation from each other; this essay motivates and defends a synthesis. On the view proposed here, justification is understood in terms of an agent’s reasons for belief, (...)
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  20. Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane & Dan Baras - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):162-183.
    Modal Security is an increasingly discussed proposed necessary condition on undermining defeat. Modal Security says, roughly, that if evidence undermines (rather than rebuts) one’s belief, then one gets reason to doubt the belief's safety or sensitivity. The primary interest of the principle is that it seems to entail that influential epistemological arguments, including Evolutionary Debunking Arguments against moral realism and the Benacerraf-Field Challenge for mathematical realism, are unsound. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine Modal Security in detail. (...)
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  21. Evidence and Inductive Inference.Nevin Climenhaga - 2021 - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
    This chapter presents a typology of the different kinds of inductive inferences we can draw from our evidence, based on the explanatory relationship between evidence and conclusion. Drawing on the literature on graphical models of explanation, I divide inductive inferences into (a) downwards inferences, which proceed from cause to effect, (b) upwards inferences, which proceed from effect to cause, and (c) sideways inferences, which proceed first from effect to cause and then from that cause to an additional effect. I further (...)
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  22. On the Very Idea of Undercutting Defeat.Erhan Demircioglu - 2021 - Logos and Episteme 12 (4):403-412.
    My aim in this paper is to cast doubt on the idea of undercutting defeat by showing that it is beset by some serious problems. I examine a number of attempts to specify the conditions for undercutting defeat and find them to be defective. Absent further attempts, and on the basis of the considerations offered, I conclude that an adequate notion of undercutting defeat is lacking.
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  23. Misleading Higher-Order Evidence, Conflicting Ideals, and Defeasible Logic.Aleks Knoks - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (6):141--74.
    Thinking about misleading higher-order evidence naturally leads to a puzzle about epistemic rationality: If one’s total evidence can be radically misleading regarding itself, then two widely-accepted requirements of rationality come into conflict, suggesting that there are rational dilemmas. This paper focuses on an often misunderstood and underexplored response to this (and similar) puzzles, the so-called conflicting-ideals view. Drawing on work from defeasible logic, I propose understanding this view as a move away from the default metaepistemological position according to which rationality (...)
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  24. Appearance and Explanation: Phenomenal Explanationism in Epistemology.Kevin McCain & Luca Moretti - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Phenomenal Conservatism (the view that an appearance that p gives one prima facie justification for believing that p) is a promising, and popular, internalist theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity, it faces numerous objections and challenges. For instance, epistemologists have argued that Phenomenal Conservatism is incompatible with Bayesianism, is afflicted by bootstrapping and cognitive penetration problems, does not guarantee that epistemic justification is a stable property, does not provide an account of defeat, and is not a complete theory of (...)
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  25. Circular and question-begging responses to religious disagreement and debunking arguments.Andrew Moon - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):785-809.
    Disagreement and debunking arguments threaten religious belief. In this paper, I draw attention to two types of propositions and show how they reveal new ways to respond to debunking arguments and disagreement. The first type of proposition is the epistemically self-promoting proposition, which, when justifiedly believed, gives one a reason to think that one reliably believes it. Such a proposition plays a key role in my argument that some religious believers can permissibly wield an epistemically circular argument in response to (...)
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  26. Reasons, Justification, and Defeat.Mona Simion & Jessica Brown (eds.) - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume is about the notion of 'defeat' in philosophy. The idea is that someone who has some knowledge, or a justified belief, can lose this knowledge or justified belief if they acquire a 'defeater' - evidence that undermines it. The contributors examine the role of defeat not just in epistemology but in practical reasoning and ethics.
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  27. The Limits of Rational Belief Revision: A Dilemma for the Darwinian Debunker.Katia Vavova - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):717-734.
    We are fallible creatures, prone to making all sorts of mistakes. So, we should be open to evidence of error. But what constitutes such evidence? And what is it to rationally accommodate it? I approach these questions by considering an evolutionary debunking argument according to which (a) we have good, scientific, reason to think our moral beliefs are mistaken, and (b) rationally accommodating this requires revising our confidence in, or altogether abandoning the suspect beliefs. I present a dilemma for such (...)
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  28. Against the Doctrine of Infallibility.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):pqaa082.
    According to the doctrine of infallibility, one is permitted to believe p if one knows that necessarily, one would be right if one believed that p. This plausible principle—made famous in Descartes’ cogito—is false. There are some self-fulfilling, higher-order propositions one can’t be wrong about but shouldn’t believe anyway: believing them would immediately make one's overall doxastic state worse.
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  29. Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used by certain (...)
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  30. Being Rational and Being Right.Juan Comesaña - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
  31. Dispossessing Defeat.Javier González de Prado - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):323-340.
    Higher‐order evidence can make an agent doubt the reliability of her reasoning. When this happens, it seems rational for the agent to adopt a cautious attitude towards her original conclusion, even in cases where the higher‐order evidence is misleading and the agent's original reasons were actually perfectly good. One may think that recoiling to a cautious attitude in the face of misleading self‐doubt involves a failure to properly respond to one's reasons. My aim is to show that this is not (...)
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  32. Do You See What I Know? On Reasons, Perceptual Evidence, and Epistemic Status.Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):205-220.
    Our epistemology can shape the way we think about perception and experience. Speaking as an epistemologist, I should say that I don’t necessarily think that this is a good thing. If we think that we need perceptual evidence to have perceptual knowledge or perceptual justification, we will naturally feel some pressure to think of experience as a source of reasons or evidence. In trying to explain how experience can provide us with evidence, we run the risk of either adopting a (...)
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  33. On Social Defeat.B. J. C. Madison - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):719-734.
    Influential cases have been provided that seem to suggest that one can fail to have knowledge because of the social environment. If not a distinct kind of social defeater, is there a uniquely social phenomenon that defeats knowledge? My aim in this paper is to explore these questions. I shall argue that despite initial appearances to the contrary, we have no reason to accept a special class of social defeater, nor any essentially social defeat phenomenon. We can explain putative cases (...)
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  34. Does rationality demand higher-order certainty?Mattias Skipper - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11561-11585.
    Should you always be certain about what you should believe? In other words, does rationality demand higher-order certainty? First answer: Yes! Higher-order uncertainty can’t be rational, since it breeds at least a mild form of epistemic akrasia. Second answer: No! Higher-order certainty can’t be rational, since it licenses a dogmatic kind of insensitivity to higher-order evidence. Which answer wins out? The first, I argue. Once we get clearer about what higher-order certainty is, a view emerges on which higher-order certainty does (...)
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  35. Moral Peer Disagreement and the Limits of Higher-Order Evidence.Marco Tiozzo - 2020 - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher-Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. Routledge.
    Abstract. This paper argues that the “Argument from Moral Peer Disagreement” fails to make a case for widespread moral skepticism. The main reason for this is that the argument rests on a too strong assumption about the normative significance of peer disagreement (and higher-order evidence more generally). In order to demonstrate this, I distinguish two competing ways in which one might explain higher-order defeat. According to what I call the “Objective Defeat Explanation” it is the mere possession of higher-order evidence (...)
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  36. Evolutionary Debunking, Self-Defeat, and All the Evidence.Silvan Wittwer - 2020 - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    Recently, Tomas Bogardus (2016), Andreas Mogensen (2017) and – at least on one plausible reconstruction – Sharon Street (2005) have argued that evolutionary theory debunks our moral beliefs by providing higher-order evidence of error. In response, moral realists such as Katia Vavova (2014) have objected that such evolutionary debunking arguments are self-defeating. The literature lacks any discussion of whether this self-defeat objection can be handled. My overall aim is to argue that it cannot, thus filling that lacuna – and vindicating (...)
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  37. Higher-order defeat and intellectual responsibility.Ru Ye - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5435-5455.
    It’s widely accepted that higher-order defeaters, i.e., evidence that one’s belief is formed in an epistemically defective way, can defeat doxastic justification. However, it’s yet unclear how exactly such kind of defeat happens. Given that many theories of doxastic justification can be understood as fitting the schema of proper basing on propositional justifiers, we might attempt to explain the defeat either by arguing that a higher-order defeater defeats propositional justification or by arguing that it defeats proper basing. It has been (...)
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  38. Knowing Our Limits.Nathan Ballantyne - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Changing our minds isn't easy. Even when we recognize our views are disputed by intelligent and informed people, we rarely doubt our rightness. Why is this so? How can we become more open-minded, putting ourselves in a better position to tolerate conflict, advance collective inquiry, and learn from differing perspectives in a complex world? -/- Nathan Ballantyne defends the indispensable role of epistemology in tackling these issues. For early modern philosophers, the point of reflecting on inquiry was to understand how (...)
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  39. Higher-Order Defeat in Realist Moral Epistemology.Brian C. Barnett - 2019 - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 117-135.
    On an optimistic version of realist moral epistemology, a significant range of ordinary moral beliefs, construed in realist terms, constitute knowledge—or at least some weaker positive epistemic status, such as epistemic justification. The “debunking challenge” to this view grants prima facie justification but claims that it is “debunked” (i.e., defeated), yielding the final verdict that moral beliefs are ultima facie unjustified. Notable candidate “debunkers” (i.e., defeaters) include the so-called “evolutionary debunking arguments,” the “Benacerraf-Field Challenge,” and persistent moral disagreement among epistemic (...)
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  40. The Toxin and the Dogmatist.Bob Beddor - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):727-740.
    According to the dogmatist, knowing p makes it rational to disregard future evidence against p. The standard response to the dogmatist holds that knowledge is defeasible: acquiring evidence against something you know undermines your knowledge. However, this response leaves a residual puzzle, according to which knowledge makes it rational to intend to disregard future counterevidence. I argue that we can resolve this residual puzzle by turning to an unlikely source: Kavka’s toxin puzzle. One lesson of the toxin puzzle is that (...)
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  41. Epistemic Akrasia and Epistemic Reasons.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Episteme 16 (3):282-302.
    It seems that epistemically rational agents should avoid incoherent combinations of beliefs and should respond correctly to their epistemic reasons. However, some situations seem to indicate that such requirements cannot be simultaneously satisfied. In such contexts, assuming that there is no unsolvable dilemma of epistemic rationality, either (i) it could be rational that one’s higher-order attitudes do not align with one’s first-order attitudes or (ii) requirements such as responding correctly to epistemic reasons that agents have are not genuine rationality requirements. (...)
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  42. Objectivist Conditions for Defeat and Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Michael Klenk - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):246-259.
    I make a case for distinguishing clearly between subjective and objective accounts of undercutting defeat and for rejecting a hybrid view that takes both subjective and objective elements to be relevant for whether or not a belief is defeated. Moderate subjectivists claim that taking a belief to be defeated is sufficient for the belief to be defeated; subjectivist idealists add that if an idealised agent takes a belief to be defeated then the belief is defeated. Subjectivist idealism evades some of (...)
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  43. Jessica Brown: Fallibilism: Evidence and Knowledge.Matthew McGrath - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (11):637-644.
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  44. Liars, Tigers, and Bearers of Bad News, Oh My!: Towards a Reasons Account of Defeat.Emelia Miller - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):82-99.
    The standard reliabilist line on defeat is open to counterexamples regarding its necessity and sufficiency. In this paper, I present three problems for the standard reliabilist line from the recent literature on defeat before arguing that reliabilists can solve those problems by adopting an account of justification that ties defeat to the evidence possessed by the relevant agent. In doing so, I show that there is a conception of having evidence that reliabilists can adopt without giving up on the core (...)
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  45. Defeaters and Disqualifiers.Daniel Muñoz - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):887-906.
    Justification depends on context: even if E on its own justifies H, still it might fail to justify in the context of D. This sort of effect, epistemologists think, is due to defeaters, which undermine or rebut a would-be justifier. I argue that there is another fundamental sort of contextual feature, disqualification, which doesn't involve rebuttal or undercutting, and which cannot be reduced to any notion of screening-off. A disqualifier makes some would-be justifier otiose, as direct testimony sometimes does to (...)
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  46. Perspectival Skeptical Theism.Jonathan Curtis Rutledge - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (2):244-264.
    Skeptical theists have paid insufficient attention to non-evidential components of epistemic rationality. I address this lacuna by constructing an alternative perspectivalist understanding of epistemic rationality and defeat that, when applied to skeptical theism, yields a more demanding standard for reasonably affirming the crucial premise of the evidential argument from suffering. The resulting perspectival skeptical theism entails that someone can be justified in believing that gratuitous suffering exists only if they are not subject to closure-of-inquiry defeat; that is, a type of (...)
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  47. Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays.Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.) - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    We often have reason to doubt our own ability to form rational beliefs, or to doubt that some particular belief of ours is rational. Perhaps we learn that a trusted friend disagrees with us about what our shared evidence supports. Or perhaps we learn that our beliefs have been afflicted by motivated reasoning or other cognitive biases. These are examples of higher-order evidence. While it may seem plausible that higher-order evidence should impact our beliefs, it is less clear how and (...)
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  48. Higher-Order Defeat and Doxastic Resilience.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2019 - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    It seems obvious that when higher-order evidence makes it rational for one to doubt that one’s own belief on some matter is rational, this can undermine the rationality of that belief. This is known as higher-order defeat. However, despite its intuitive plausibility, it has proved puzzling how higher-order defeat works, exactly. To highlight two prominent sources of puzzlement, higher-order defeat seems to defy being understood in terms of conditionalization; and higher-order defeat can sometimes place agents in what seem like epistemic (...)
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  49. The Level-Splitting View and the Non-Akrasia Constraint.Marco Tiozzo - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):917-923.
    Some philosophers have defended the idea that in cases of all-things-considered misleading higher-order evidence it is rational to take divergent doxastic attitudes to p and E supports p. In a recent paper, Sophie Horowitz has argued that such “Level-Splitting views” are implausible since they violate a rational requirement she calls the Non-Akrasia Constraint. In this paper, I argue that Horowitz’s objection is misguided since it conflates two distinct notions of epistemic rationality.
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  50. Hume, Defeat, and Miracle Reports.Charity Anderson - 2018 - In Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Dani Rabinowitz (eds.), Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 13-28.
    This chapter investigates the rationality of failing to believe miracle reports. Hume famously argued that it is irrational to believe that a miracle has occurred on the basis of testimony alone. While certain aspects of Hume's argument have received extensive discussion, other features of his argument have been largely overlooked. After offering a reconstruction of Hume's argument, I argue that epistemic defeat plays a central role in the argument, and I explore the aptness of as well as some limitations to (...)
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