The evidential support relation

Authors
T. Ryan Byerly
University of Sheffield
Abstract
Evidentialist views in epistemology, like that of Earl Conee and Richard Feldman, define epistemic justification at least partially in terms of evidential support. According to these views, a person is justified in believing a proposition p just when her evidence supports p. The subject of this dissertation is the evidential support relation at the heart of these views—viz., the relation which obtains between a person’s evidence e and a proposition p just when e supports p in the sense required by these views. I engage three initially tempting accounts of this relation in terms of meta-attitudes, explanatory relations, and probabilistic relations, finding all three accounts wanting. I then propose a fourth, causal account. My thesis is that evidentialists like Conee and Feldman should find this causal account of the evidential support relation more attractive than the other three kinds of account
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