Pollock and Sturgeon on defeaters

Synthese 195 (7):2897-2906 (2018)
Albert Casullo
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Scott Sturgeon has recently challenged Pollock’s account of undercutting defeaters. The challenge involves three primary contentions: the account is both too strong and too weak, undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat only in conjunction with higher-order beliefs about the basis of the lower-order beliefs whose justification they target, and since rebutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat in isolation, rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways. My goal is to reject each of these contentions. I maintain that Sturgeon fails to show that Pollock’s account of undercutting defeaters is either too strong or too weak, his own account of how undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat is both too strong and too weak, and his claim that rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways is mistaken.
Keywords Pollock  Sturgeon  Defeater  Rebutting  Undercutting  Higher-order belief
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1073-5
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References found in this work BETA

Defeasible Reasoning.John Pollock - 1987 - Cognitive Science 11 (4):481-518.
Pollock on Defeasible Reasons.Scott Sturgeon - 2012 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-14.
Defeasible Reasoning and Degrees of Justification.John L. Pollock † - 2010 - Argument and Computation 1 (1):7-22.

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