An Explanationist Account of Genealogical Defeat

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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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First archival date: 2021-09-15
Latest version: 2 (2021-10-29)
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