Defeatism Defeated

Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):40-66 (2015)
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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 in epistemology; but on the other hand, it obviates the need to provide a unified account of defeat which plays well with the most plausible views of how knowledge fits with evidential probability.

Author Profiles

Max Baker-Hytch
Oxford University (DPhil)
Matthew A. Benton
Seattle Pacific University


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