An Explanationist Account of Genealogical Defeat

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming)
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Abstract

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 some problems for recent versions of explanationism. Learning from their failures, we then produce and defend a more resilient explanationism.

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Author Profiles

Daniel Z. Korman
University of California at Santa Barbara
Dustin Locke
Claremont McKenna College

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Thought.Gilbert Harman - 1973 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter K. Unger - 1975 - Oxford University Press.
Morality and Mathematics.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
A Causal Theory of Knowing.Alvin I. Goldman - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (12):357-372.

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