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  1. added 2020-02-23
    The Limits of Rational Belief Revision: A Dilemma for the Darwinian Debunker.Katia Vavova - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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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  2. added 2020-01-28
    Reasons for Reliabilism.Bob Beddor - forthcoming - In Mona Simion & Jessica Brown (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford University Press.
    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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  3. added 2020-01-25
    Appearance and Explanation (Monograph, in Progress).Kevin McCain & Luca Moretti - manuscript
    Phenomenal Conservatism (PC) is a promising, and popular, internalist theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity it faces numerous objections and challenges. In Seemings and Epistemic Justification (Springer, 2020), Moretti suggests that integrating PC with a theory of reflective/inferential justification would have the potential to shield PC from various challenges. Moretti also suggests that this sort of integration is worth exploring because it may allow PC to provide a more forceful response to skepticism and better account for ordinary cognitive practices. (...)
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  4. added 2019-12-05
    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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  5. added 2019-10-15
    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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  6. added 2019-10-05
    Higher-Order Defeat in Realist Moral Epistemology.Brian C. Barnett - forthcoming - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York:
    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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  7. added 2019-10-05
    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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  8. added 2019-09-17
    Disqualifying ‘Disqualifiers’.B. J. C. Madison - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-13.
    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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  9. added 2019-09-13
    The Reasoning View and Defeasible Practical Reasoning.Samuel Asarnow - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):614-636.
    According to the Reasoning View about normative reasons, facts about normative reasons for action can be understood in terms of facts about the norms of practical reasoning. I argue that this view is subject to an overlooked class of counterexamples, familiar from debates about Subjectivist theories of normative reasons. Strikingly, the standard strategy Subjectivists have used to respond to this problem cannot be adapted to the Reasoning View. I think there is a solution to this problem, however. I argue that (...)
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  10. added 2019-09-06
    Suspension, Higher-Order Evidence, and Defeat.Errol Lord & Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In Mona Simion & Jessica Brown (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford University Press.
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  11. added 2019-03-31
    Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    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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  12. added 2019-02-18
    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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  13. added 2018-10-08
    Higher-Order Defeat and Intellectual Responsibility.Ru Ye - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    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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  14. added 2018-08-22
    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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  15. added 2018-08-15
    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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  16. added 2018-03-19
    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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  17. added 2017-12-14
    How to Use Cognitive Faculties You Never Knew You Had.Andrew Moon - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):251-275.
    Norman forms the belief that the president is in New York by way of a clairvoyance faculty he doesn’t know he has. Many agree that his belief is unjustified but disagree about why it is unjustified. I argue that the lack of justification cannot be explained by a higher-level evidence requirement on justification, but it can be explained by a no-defeater requirement. I then explain how you can use cognitive faculties you don’t know you have. Lastly, I use lessons from (...)
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  18. added 2017-10-06
    Disagreement and Defeat.Clayton Littlejohn - 2013 - In Diego Machuca (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism.
    The equal weight view says that if you discover that you disagree with a peer, you should decrease your confidence that you are in the right. Since peer disagreement seems to be quite prevalent, the equal weight view seems to tell us that we cannot reasonably believe many of the interesting things we believe because we can always count on a peer to contest the interesting things that we believe. While the equal weight view seems to have skeptical implications, few (...)
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  19. added 2017-08-23
    Defeaters in Current Epistemology: Introduction to the Special Issue.Luca Moretti & Tommaso Piazza - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):2845-2854.
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  20. added 2017-03-10
    The Defeasibility of Knowledge-How.J. Adam Carter & Jesús Navarro - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):662-685.
    Reductive intellectualists (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a; 2011b; Brogaard 2008; 2009; 2011) hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. If this thesis is correct, then we should expect the defeasibility conditions for knowledge-how and knowledge-that to be uniform—viz., that the mechanisms of epistemic defeat which undermine propositional knowledge will be equally capable of imperilling knowledge-how. The goal of this paper is twofold: first, against intellectualism, we will show that knowledge-how is in fact resilient to being undermined by (...)
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  21. added 2017-02-11
    Anti-Intellectualism.Blake Roeber - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):437-466.
    Intellectualists disagree with anti-intellectualists about the relationship between knowledge and truth. According to intellectualists, this relationship is intimate. Knowledge entails true belief, and in fact everything required for knowledge is somehow relevant to the probability that the belief in question is true. According to anti-intellectualists, this relationship isn’t intimate. Or, at least, it’s not as intimate as intellectualists think. Factors that aren’t in any way relevant to the probability that a belief is true can make a difference to whether it (...)
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  22. added 2017-01-27
    Commonsense, Skeptical Theism, and Different Sorts of Closure of Inquiry Defeat.Jonathan Curtis Rutledge - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (1):17-32.
    Trent Dougherty argues (contra Jonathan Matheson) that when taking into consideration the probabilities involving skeptical theism (ST) and gratuitous evils, an agent may reasonably affirm both ST and that gratuitous evils exist. In other words, Dougherty thinks that assigning a greater than .5 probability to ST is insufficient to defeat the commonsense problem of evil. I argue that Dougherty’s response assumes, incorrectly, that ST functions solely as an evidential defeater, and that, when understood as a closure of inquiry defeater, ST (...)
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  23. added 2017-01-17
    Meta-Epistemic Defeat.J. Adam Carter - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):2877-2896.
    An account of meta-epistemic defeaters—distinct from traditional epistemic defeaters—is motivated and defended, drawing from case studies involving epistemic error-theory and epistemic relativism. Mechanisms of traditional epistemic defeat and meta-epistemic defeat are compared and contrasted, and some new puzzles are introduced.
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  24. added 2016-12-12
    Group Knowledge and Epistemic Defeat.J. Adam Carter - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
    If individual knowledge and justification can be vanquished by epistemic defeaters, then the same should go for group knowledge. Lackey (2014) has recently argued that one especially strong conception of group knowledge defended by Bird (2010) is incapable of preserving how it is that (group) knowledge is ever subject to ordinary mechanisms of epistemic defeat. Lackey takes it that her objections do not also apply to a more moderate articulation of group knowledge--one that is embraced widely in collective epistemology--and which (...)
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  25. added 2016-12-05
    Preservationism in the Epistemology of Memory.Matthew Frise - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268).
    Preservationism states that memory preserves the justification of the beliefs it preserves. More precisely: if S formed a justified belief that p at t1 and retains in memory a belief that p until t2, then S's belief that p is prima facie justified via memory at t2. Preservationism is an unchallenged orthodoxy in the epistemology of memory. Advocates include Sven Bernecker, Tyler Burge, Alvin Goldman, Gilbert Harman, Michael Huemer, Matthew McGrath, and Thomas Senor. I develop three dilemmas for it, in (...)
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  26. added 2016-10-17
    Undermining Defeat and Propositional Justification.Giacomo Melis - 2016 - Argumenta 1 (2):271-280.
    I extend the Higher-Order View of Undermining Defeat (HOVUD) defended in Melis (2014) to account for the defeat of propositional justification. In doing so, I clarify the important notion of higher-order commitment, and I make some considerations concerning the defeat of externalist epistemic warrants.
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  27. added 2016-09-19
    Deficiency Arguments Against Empiricism and the Question of Empirical Indefeasibility.Lisa Warenski - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1675-1686.
    I give a brief overview of Albert Casullo’s Essays on A Priori Knowledge and Justification, followed by a summary of his diagnostic framework for evaluating accounts of a priori knowledge and a priori justification. I then discuss Casullo’s strategy for countering deficiency arguments against empiricism. A deficiency argument against empiricism can be countered by mounting a parallel argument against moderate rationalism that shows moderate rationalism to be defective in a similar way. I argue that a particular deficiency argument put forth (...)
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  28. added 2016-07-22
    Sosa on Knowledge, Judgment and Guessing.J. Adam Carter - 2018 - Synthese:1-20.
    In Chapter 3 of Judgment and Agency, Ernest Sosa (2015) explicates the concept of a fully apt performance. In the course of doing so, he draws from illustrative examples of practical performances and applies lessons drawn to the case of cognitive performances, and in particular, to the cog- nitive performance of judging. Sosa's examples in the practical sphere are rich and instructive. But there is, I will argue, an interesting disanalogy between the practical and cognitive examples he relies on. Ultimately, (...)
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  29. added 2015-08-20
    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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  30. added 2015-07-10
    Debunking and Dispensability.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    In his précis of a recent book, Richard Joyce writes, “My contention…is that…any epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended to moral beliefs…will be neutralized by the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere…presupposes their truth.” Such reasoning – falling under the heading “Genealogical Debunking Arguments” – is now commonplace. But how might “the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere… presupposes” the truth of our moral beliefs “neutralize” whatever “epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended (...)
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  31. added 2015-07-07
    Knowledge and Evidence You Should Have Had.Matthew A. Benton - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):471-479.
    Epistemologists focus primarily on cases of knowledge, belief, or credence where the evidence which one possesses, or on which one is relying, plays a fundamental role in the epistemic or normative status of one's doxastic state. Recent work in epistemology goes beyond the evidence one possesses to consider the relevance for such statuses of evidence which one does not possess, particularly when there is a sense in which one should have had some evidence. I focus here on Sanford Goldberg's approach (...)
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  32. added 2015-06-25
    Process Reliabilism's Troubles with Defeat.Bob Beddor - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):145-159.
    One attractive feature of process reliabilism is its reductive potential: it promises to explain justification in entirely non-epistemic terms. In this paper, I argue that the phenomenon of epistemic defeat poses a serious challenge for process reliabilism’s reductive ambitions. The standard process reliabilist analysis of defeat is the ‘Alternative Reliable Process Account’ (ARP). According to ARP, whether S’s belief is defeated depends on whether S has certain reliable processes available to her which, if they had been used, would have resulted (...)
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  33. added 2015-04-10
    Defeatism Defeated.Max Baker-Hytch & Matthew A. Benton - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):40-66.
    Many epistemologists are enamored with a defeat condition on knowledge. In this paper we present some implementation problems for defeatism, understood along either internalist or externalist lines. We then propose that one who accepts a knowledge norm of belief, according to which one ought to believe only what one knows, can explain away much of the motivation for defeatism. This is an important result, because on the one hand it respects the plausibility of the intuitions about defeat shared by many (...)
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  34. added 2015-02-15
    Ideal Rationality and Logical Omniscience.Declan Smithies - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2769-2793.
    Does rationality require logical omniscience? Our best formal theories of rationality imply that it does, but our ordinary evaluations of rationality seem to suggest otherwise. This paper aims to resolve the tension by arguing that our ordinary evaluations of rationality are not only consistent with the thesis that rationality requires logical omniscience, but also provide a compelling rationale for accepting this thesis in the first place. This paper also defends an account of apriori justification for logical beliefs that is designed (...)
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  35. added 2014-08-19
    The Prima/Ultima Facie Justification Distinction in Epistemology.Thomas D. Senor - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (3):551-566.
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  36. added 2014-06-21
    Justification and Explanation in Mathematics and Morality.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2015 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 1. Oxford University Press.
    In an influential book, Gilbert Harman writes, "In explaining the observations that support a physical theory, scientists typically appeal to mathematical principles. On the other hand, one never seems to need to appeal in this way to moral principles [1977, 9 – 10]." What is the epistemological relevance of this contrast, if genuine? In this article, I argue that ethicists and philosophers of mathematics have misunderstood it. They have confused what I will call the justificatory challenge for realism about an (...)
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  37. added 2014-04-02
    Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
    Recent authors have drawn attention to a new kind of defeating evidence commonly referred to as higher-order evidence. Such evidence works by inducing doubts that one’s doxastic state is the result of a flawed process – for instance, a process brought about by a reason-distorting drug. I argue that accommodating defeat by higher-order evidence requires a two-tiered theory of justification, and that the phenomenon gives rise to a puzzle. The puzzle is that at least in some situations involving higher-order defeaters (...)
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  38. added 2014-01-27
    Doubts About Philosophy? The Alleged Challenge From Disagreement.Thomas Grundmann - 2013 - In Tim Henning & David Schweikard (eds.), Knowledge, Virtue, and Action. Essays on Putting Epistemic Virtues to Work. Routledge. pp. 72-98.
    In philosophy, as in many other disciplines and domains, stable disagreement among peers is a widespread and well-known phenomenon. Our intuitions about paradigm cases, e.g. Christensen's Restaurant Case, suggest that in such controversies suspension of judgment is rationally required. This would prima facie suggest a robust suspension of judgment in philosophy. But we are still lacking a deeper theoretical explanation of why and under what conditions suspension is rationally mandatory. In the first part of this paper I will focus on (...)
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  39. added 2013-11-20
    Unreasonable Knowledge.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):1-21.
    It is common orthodoxy among internalists and externalists alike that knowledge is lost or defeated in situations involving misleading evidence of a suitable kind. But making sense of defeat has seemed to present a particular challenge for those who reject an internalist justification condition on knowledge. My main aim here is to argue that externalists ought to take seriously a view on which knowledge can be retained even in the face of strong seemingly defeating evidence. As an instructive example, I (...)
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  40. added 2013-05-07
    The Problem of Respecting Higher-Order Doubt.David J. Alexander - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, (...)
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  41. added 2012-09-05
    Naturalism, Fallibilism, and the a Priori.Lisa Warenski - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (3):403-426.
    This paper argues that a priori justification is, in principle, compatible with naturalism—if the a priori is understood in a way that is free of the inessential properties that, historically, have been associated with the concept. I argue that empirical indefeasibility is essential to the primary notion of the a priori ; however, the indefeasibility requirement should be interpreted in such a way that we can be fallibilist about apriori-justified claims. This fallibilist notion of the a priori accords with the (...)
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  42. added 2011-10-26
    Rational Epistemic Akrasia.Allen Coates - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (2):113-24.
    Epistemic akrasia arises when one holds a belief even though one judges it to be irrational or unjustified. While there is some debate about whether epistemic akrasia is possible, this paper will assume for the sake of argument that it is in order to consider whether it can be rational. The paper will show that it can. More precisely, cases can arise in which both the belief one judges to be irrational and one’s judgment of it are epistemically rational in (...)
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