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  1. Goodness, Availability and Argument Structure.Anna Sara Malmgren - forthcoming - Synthese:1-33.
    According to a widely shared generic conception of inferential justification—‘the standard conception’—an agent is inferentially justified in believing that p only if she has antecedently justified beliefs in all the non-redundant premises of a good argument for p. This conception tends to serve as the starting-point in contemporary debates about the nature and scope of inferential justification: as neutral common ground between various competing, more specific, conceptions. But it’s a deeply problematic starting-point. This paper explores three questions that haven’t been (...)
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  • Epistemic Closure and Epistemological Optimism.Claudio de Almeida - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):113-131.
    Half a century later, a Dretskean stance on epistemic closure remains a minority view. Why? Mainly because critics have successfully poked holes in the epistemologies on which closure fails. However, none of the familiar pro-closure moves works against the counterexamples on display here. It is argued that these counterexamples pose the following dilemma: either accept that epistemic closure principles are false, and steal the thunder from those who attack classical logic on the basis of similarly problematic cases—specifically, relevance logicians and (...)
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  • Formulating Independence.David Christensen - 2019 - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. pp. 13-34.
    We often get evidence that bears on the reliability of some of our own first-order reasoning. The rational response to such “higher-order” evidence would seem to depend on a rational assessment of how reliable we can expect that reasoning to be, in light of the higher-order evidence. “Independence” principles are intended to constrain this reliability-assessment, so as to prevent question-begging reliance on the very reasoning being assessed. However, extant formulations of Independence principles tend to be vague or ambiguous, and coming (...)
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  • Is higher-order evidence evidence?Eyal Tal - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3157-3175.
    Suppose we learn that we have a poor track record in forming beliefs rationally, or that a brilliant colleague thinks that we believe P irrationally. Does such input require us to revise those beliefs whose rationality is in question? When we gain information suggesting that our beliefs are irrational, we are in one of two general cases. In the first case we made no error, and our beliefs are rational. In that case the input to the contrary is misleading. In (...)
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  • Closed without boundaries.Elia Zardini - forthcoming - Synthese:1-39.
    The paper critically discusses two prominent arguments against closure principles for knowledge. The first one is the “argument from aggregation”, claiming that closure under conjunction has the consequence that, if one individually knows i premises, one also knows their i-fold conjunction—yet, every one of the premises might exhibit interesting positive epistemic properties while the i-fold conjunction might fail to do so. The second one is the “argument from concatenation”, claiming that closure under entailment has the consequence that, if one knows (...)
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  • Defeaters in Current Epistemology: Introduction to the Special Issue.Luca Moretti & Tommaso Piazza - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):2845-2854.
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  • Question Closure to Solve the Surprise Test.Daniel Immerman - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4583-4596.
    This paper offers a new solution to the Surprise Test Paradox. The paradox arises thanks to an ingenious argument that seems to show that surprise tests are impossible. My solution to the paradox states that it relies on a questionable closure principle. This closure principle says that if one knows something and competently deduces something else, one knows the further thing. This principle has been endorsed by John Hawthorne and Timothy Williamson, among others, and I trace its motivation back to (...)
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  • What’s the Matter with Epistemic Circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
    If the reliability of a source of testimony is open to question, it seems epistemically illegitimate to verify the source’s reliability by appealing to that source’s own testimony. Is this because it is illegitimate to trust a questionable source’s testimony on any matter whatsoever? Or is there a distinctive problem with appealing to the source’s testimony on the matter of that source’s own reliability? After distinguishing between two kinds of epistemically illegitimate circularity—bootstrapping and self-verification—I argue for a qualified version of (...)
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  • Justified Inference.Ralph Wedgwood - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):273-295.
    What is the connection between justification and the kind of consequence relations that are studied by logic? In this essay, I shall try to provide an answer, by proposing a general conception of the kind of inference that counts as justified or rational.
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  • Higher-Order Evidence and the Normativity of Logic.Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - In Scott Stapleford, Kevin McCain & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge.
    Many theories of rational belief give a special place to logic. They say that an ideally rational agent would never be uncertain about logical facts. In short: they say that ideal rationality requires "logical omniscience." Here I argue against the view that ideal rationality requires logical omniscience on the grounds that the requirement of logical omniscience can come into conflict with the requirement to proportion one’s beliefs to the evidence. I proceed in two steps. First, I rehearse an influential line (...)
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  • Misleading Higher-Order Evidence, Conflicting Ideals, and Defeasible Logic.Aleks Knoks - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    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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  • How Can Necessary Facts Call for Explanation?Dan Baras - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11607-11624.
    While there has been much discussion about what makes some mathematical proofs more explanatory than others, and what are mathematical coincidences, in this article I explore the distinct phenomenon of mathematical facts that call for explanation. The existence of mathematical facts that call for explanation stands in tension with virtually all existing accounts of “calling for explanation”, which imply that necessary facts cannot call for explanation. In this paper I explore what theoretical revisions are needed in order to accommodate this (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Varieties of Inference?Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
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  • Rational Reflection.David Christensen - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):121-140.
    This paper explores an initially attractive principle connecting beliefs in general with beliefs about what beliefs are rational. The principle turns out to be violated by intuitively rational beliefs in some situations. The paper lays out some options for reacting to this fact.
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  • Epistemic Modesty Defended.David Christensen - 2013 - In David Christensen & Jennifer Lackey (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 77.
    It has often been noticed that conciliatory views of disagreement are "self-undermining" in a certain way: advocates of such views cannot consistently maintain them when other philosophers disagree. This leads to apparent problems of instability and even inconsistency. Does self-undermining, then, show conciliationism untenable? If so, the untenablity would extend not only to almost all views of disagreement, but to a wide range of other views supporting what one might call epistemic modesty: roughly, the idea that getting evidence that one (...)
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  • Disagreement, Drugs, Etc.: From Accuracy to Akrasia.David Christensen - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):397-422.
    We often get evidence concerning the reliability of our own thinking about some particular matter. This “higher-order evidence” can come from the disagreement of others, or from information about our being subject to the effects of drugs, fatigue, emotional ties, implicit biases, etc. This paper examines some pros and cons of two fairly general models for accommodating higher-order evidence. The one that currently seems most promising also turns out to have the consequence that epistemic akrasia should occur more frequently than (...)
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  • Luck, Rationality, and Explanation.Joshua Schechter - manuscript
    Expanded version of a commentary on Adam Elga's "Lucky to be Rational" delivered at the 2008 Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference.
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  • 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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  • A Dilemma for Higher-Level Suspension.Eyal Tal - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Is it ever rational to suspend judgment about whether a particular doxastic attitude of ours is rational? An agent who suspends about whether her attitude is rational has serious doubts that it is. These doubts place a special burden on the agent, namely, to justify maintaining her chosen attitude over others. A dilemma arises. Providing justification for maintaining the chosen attitude would commit the agent to considering the attitude rational—contrary to her suspension on the matter. Alternatively, in the absence of (...)
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  • Disagreement and Easy Bootstrapping.Eyal Tal - 2021 - Episteme 18 (1):46-65.
    ABSTRACTShould conciliating with disagreeing peers be considered sufficient for reaching rational beliefs? Thomas Kelly argues that when taken this way, Conciliationism lets those who enter into a disagreement with an irrational belief reach a rational belief all too easily. Three kinds of responses defending Conciliationism are found in the literature. One response has it that conciliation is required only of agents who have a rational belief as they enter into a disagreement. This response yields a requirement that no one should (...)
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  • Two Notions of Epistemic Risk.Martin Smith - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (5):1069-1079.
    In ‘Single premise deduction and risk’ (2008) Maria Lasonen-Aarnio argues that there is a kind of epistemically threatening risk that can accumulate over the course of drawing single premise deductive inferences. As a result, we have a new reason for denying that knowledge is closed under single premise deduction—one that mirrors a familiar reason for denying that knowledge is closed under multiple premise deduction. This sentiment has more recently been echoed by others (see Schechter 2011). In this paper, I will (...)
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  • Epistemic Consequentialism, Veritism, and Scoring Rules.Marc-Kevin Daoust & Charles Côté-Bouchard - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    We argue that there is a tension between two monistic claims that are the core of recent work in epistemic consequentialism. The first is a form of monism about epistemic value, commonly known as veritism: accuracy is the sole final objective to be promoted in the epistemic domain. The other is a form of monism about a class of epistemic scoring rules: that is, strictly proper scoring rules are the only legitimate measures of inaccuracy. These two monisms, we argue, are (...)
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  • Second Best Epistemology: Fallibility and Normativity.Joshua DiPaolo - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2043-2066.
    The Fallibility Norm—the claim that we ought to take our fallibility into account when managing our beliefs—appears to conflict with several other compelling epistemic norms. To shed light on these apparent conflicts, I distinguish two kinds of norms: norms of perfection and norms of compensation. Roughly, norms of perfection tell us how agents ought to behave if they’re to be perfect; norms of compensation tell us how imperfect agents ought to behave in order to compensate for their imperfections. I argue (...)
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  • No Need for Excuses: Against Knowledge-First Epistemology and the Knowledge Norm of Assertion.Joshua Schechter - 2017 - In J. Adam Carter, Emma Gordon & Benjamin Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge-First: Approaches in Epistemology and Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 132-159.
    Since the publication of Timothy Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits, knowledge-first epistemology has become increasingly influential within epistemology. This paper discusses the viability of the knowledge-first program. The paper has two main parts. In the first part, I briefly present knowledge-first epistemology as well as several big picture reasons for concern about this program. While this considerations are pressing, I concede, however, that they are not conclusive. To determine the viability of knowledge-first epistemology will require philosophers to carefully evaluate the (...)
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  • Inferential Justification and the Transparency of Belief.David James Barnett - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):184-212.
    This paper critically examines currently influential transparency accounts of our knowledge of our own beliefs that say that self-ascriptions of belief typically are arrived at by “looking outward” onto the world. For example, one version of the transparency account says that one self-ascribes beliefs via an inference from a premise to the conclusion that one believes that premise. This rule of inference reliably yields accurate self-ascriptions because you cannot infer a conclusion from a premise without believing the premise, and so (...)
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  • Falsehood and Entailment.Juan Comesaña - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):82-94.
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  • Cretan Deductions.Rachel Elizabeth Fraser & John Hawthorne - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):163-178.
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  • Higher-Order Defeat is Object-Independent.Joshua DiPaolo - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):248-269.
    Higher-order defeat occurs when one loses justification for one's beliefs as a result of receiving evidence that those beliefs resulted from a cognitive malfunction. Several philosophers have identified features of higher-order defeat that distinguish it from familiar types of defeat. If higher-order defeat has these features, they are data an account of rational belief must capture. In this article, I identify a new distinguishing feature of higher-order defeat, and I argue that on its own, and in conjunction with the other (...)
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  • Explaining Enkratic Asymmetries: Knowledge-First Style.Paul Silva - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2907-2930.
    There are two different kinds of enkratic principles for belief: evidential enkratic principles and normative enkratic principles. It’s frequently taken for granted that there’s not an important difference between them. But evidential enkratic principles are undermined by considerations that gain no traction at all against their normative counterparts. The idea that such an asymmetry exists between evidential and normative enkratic principles is surprising all on its own. It is also something that calls out for explanation. Similarly, the considerations that undermine (...)
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  • Coherentism Via Graphs.Selim Berker - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):322-352.
    Once upon a time, coherentism was the dominant response to the regress problem in epistemology, but in recent decades the view has fallen into disrepute: now almost everyone is a foundationalist (with a few infinitists sprinkled here and there). In this paper, I sketch a new way of thinking about coherentism, and show how it avoids many of the problems often thought fatal for the view, including the isolation objection, worries over circularity, and concerns that the concept of coherence is (...)
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  • Normative Indeterminacy in the Epistemic Domain.Nicholas Leonard & Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Kevin McCain, Scott Stapleford & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. K. McCain, S. Stapleford & M. Steup.
    Building on recent formal work by Aleks Knoks, we explore how the idea that certain epistemic norms may be indeterminate could be implemented in a default logic.
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  • A Puzzle About Knowledge, Blame, and Coherence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):493-503.
    Many philosophers have offered arguments in favor of the following three theses: A is epistemically permitted to believe P only if A is in a position to know that P, incoherent agents fail to satisfy the aforementioned knowledge norm of belief, and A’s apparent reasons are relevant to determining what A is blameworthy for believing. In this paper, I argue that the above three theses are jointly inconsistent. The main upshot of the paper is this: even if the knowledge norm (...)
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  • Are There Indefeasible Epistemic Rules?Darren Bradley - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...)
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  • Evidence and Fallibility.Joshua DiPaolo - 2019 - Episteme 16 (1):39-55.
    The “Evidentialist Dictum” says we must believe what our evidence supports, and the “Fallibility Norm” says we must take our fallibility into account when managing our beliefs. This paper presents a problem for the Evidentialist Dictum based in the Fallibility Norm and a particular conception of evidential support. It then addresses two novel Evidentialist responses to this problem. The first response solves the problem by claiming that fallibility information causes “evidence-loss.” In addition to solving the problem, this response appears to (...)
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  • Isolating Correct Reasoning.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - In Magdalena Balcerak Jackson & Brendan Balcerak Jackson (eds.), Reasoning: New Essays on Theoretical and Practical Thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This paper tries to do three things. First, it tries to make it plausible that correct rules of reasoning do not always preserve justification: in other words, if you begin with a justified attitude, and reason correctly from that premise, it can nevertheless happen that you’ll nevertheless arrive at an unjustified attitude. Attempts to show that such cases in fact involve following an incorrect rule of reasoning cannot be vindicated. Second, it also argues that correct rules of reasoning do not (...)
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  • Small Steps and Great Leaps in Thought: The Epistemology of Basic Deductive Rules.Joshua Schechter - 2019 - In Magdalena Balcerak Jackson & Brendan Balcerak Jackson (eds.), Reasoning: New Essays on Theoretical and Practical Thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We are justified in employing the rule of inference Modus Ponens (or one much like it) as basic in our reasoning. By contrast, we are not justified in employing a rule of inference that permits inferring to some difficult mathematical theorem from the relevant axioms in a single step. Such an inferential step is intuitively “too large” to count as justified. What accounts for this difference? In this paper, I canvass several possible explanations. I argue that the most promising approach (...)
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  • Knowing What Things Look Like.Matthew McGrath - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (1):1-41.
    Walking through the supermarket, I see the avocados. I know they are avocados. Similarly, if you see a pumpkin on my office desk, you can know it’s a pumpkin from its looks. The phenomenology in such cases is that of “just seeing” that such and such. This phenomenology might suggest that the knowledge gained is immediate. This paper argues, to the contrary, that in these target cases, the knowledge is mediate, depending as it does on one’s knowledge of what the (...)
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  • Contextualism About Evidential Support.Jessica Brown - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):329-354.
    In this paper, I examine a contextualist thesis that has been little discussed in comparison with contextualism about knowledge, namely contextualism about evidential support. This seems surprising since, prima facie, evidential support statements seem shifty in a way parallel to knowledge ascriptions. I examine but reject the suggestion that contrastivism about evidential support is motivated by arguments analogous to those used to motivate contrastivism about knowledge including sceptical closure arguments, the nature of inquiry, the existence of explicitly contrastive evidential support (...)
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  • How Moral Uncertaintism Can Be Both True and Interesting.Andrew Sepielli - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 7.
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  • Higher-Order Defeat and the Impossibility of Self-Misleading Evidence.Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Evidentialism is the thesis, roughly, that one’s beliefs should fit one’s evidence. The enkratic principle is the thesis, roughly, that one’s beliefs should "line up" with one’s beliefs about which beliefs one ought to have. While both theses have seemed attractive to many, they jointly entail the controversial thesis that self-misleading evidence is impossible. That is to say, if evidentialism and the enkratic principle are both true, one’s evidence cannot support certain false beliefs about which beliefs one’s evidence supports. Recently, (...)
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  • Perceptual Justification and the Cartesian Theater.David James Barnett - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    According to a traditional Cartesian epistemology of perception, perception does not provide one with direct knowledge of the external world. Instead, your immediate perceptual evidence is limited to facts about your own visual experience, from which conclusions about the external world must be inferred. Cartesianism faces well-known skeptical challenges. But this chapter argues that any anti-Cartesian view strong enough to avoid these challenges must license a way of updating one’s beliefs in response to anticipated experiences that seems diachronically irrational. To (...)
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  • A New Solution to the Problem of Peer Disagreement.Ruth Weintraub - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (8):795-811.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I defend a new solution to the problem of peer disagreement, the question as to how you should respond when you learn that your ‘epistemic peer’ disagrees with you about some issue. I consider four test cases that together impugn every extant full-blown theory about peer disagreement. I present my own solution, show that it delivers the intuitive verdict in the test cases and address some objections.
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  • Sceptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):319-333.
    Given plausible assumptions about the nature of evidence and undercutting defeat, many believe that the force of the evidential problem of evil depends on sceptical theism’s being false: if evil is...
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  • Williamson, Closure, and KK.Daniel Immerman - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3349-3373.
    Closure principles say that if you know some proposition which entails a second and you meet further conditions then you know the second. In this paper I construct an argument against closure principles which turns on the idea that knowing a proposition requires that one’s belief-forming process be reliable. My argument parallels an influential argument offered by Timothy Williamson against KK principles–principles that say that if you know some proposition and you meet further conditions then you know that you know (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Andreas Lech Mogensen - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    I consider whether evolutionary explanations can debunk our moral beliefs. Most contemporary discussion in this area is centred on the question of whether debunking implications follow from our ability to explain elements of human morality in terms of natural selection, given that there has been no selection for true moral beliefs. By considering the most prominent arguments in the literature today, I offer reasons to think that debunking arguments of this kind fail. However, I argue that a successful evolutionary debunking (...)
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  • In Defence of Single-Premise Closure.Weng Tang - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1887-1900.
    It’s often thought that the phenomenon of risk aggregation poses a problem for multi-premise closure but not for single-premise closure. But recently, Lasonen-Aarnio and Schechter have challenged this thought. Lasonen-Aarnio argues that, insofar as risk aggregation poses a problem for multi-premise closure, it poses a similar problem for single-premise closure. For she thinks that, there being such a thing as deductive risk, risk may aggregate over a single premise and the deduction itself. Schechter argues that single-premise closure succumbs to risk (...)
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  • The Problem of Easy Justification: An Investigation of Evidence, Justification, and Reliability.Samuel Alexander Taylor - unknown
    Our beliefs utilize various sources: perception, memory, induction, etc. We trust these sources to provide reliable information about the world around us. My dissertation investigates how this trust could be justified. Chapter one introduces background material. I argue that justification rather than knowledge is of primary epistemological importance, discuss the internalism/externalism debate, and introduce an evidentialist thesis that provides a starting point/framework for epistemological theorizing. Chapter two introduces a puzzle concerning justification. Can a belief source provide justification absent prior justification (...)
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