The Epistemology of Debunking Argumentation

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There is an ever-growing literature on what exactly the condition or criterion is that enables some (but not all) debunking arguments to undermine our beliefs. In this paper, I develop a novel schema for debunking argumentation, arguing that debunking arguments generally have a simple and valid form, but that whether or not they are sound depends on the particular aetiological explanation which the debunker provides in order to motivate acceptance of the individual premises. The schema has three unique features: (1) it satisfies important desiderata for what any acceptable account of debunking would have to look like; (2) it is consistent with the inductively supported claim that there is no special debunking principle; and (3) it coheres with the plausible claim that what makes debunking arguments unique is that they rely on so-called genealogies for the justification of their premises.
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Archival date: 2022-01-10
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