On Social Defeat

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):719-734 (2020)
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Abstract

Influential cases have been provided that seem to suggest that one can fail to have knowledge because of the social environment. If not a distinct kind of social defeater, is there a uniquely social phenomenon that defeats knowledge? My aim in this paper is to explore these questions. I shall argue that despite initial appearances to the contrary, we have no reason to accept a special class of social defeater, nor any essentially social defeat phenomenon. We can explain putative cases of social defeat with our existing epistemological apparatus.

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B. J. C. Madison
United Arab Emirates University

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