The Epistemic Function of Higher-Order Evidence

In Paul Silva & Luis Oliveira (eds.), Propositional and Doxastic Justification: New Essays on Their Nature and Significance. Routledge. pp. 97-120 (2022)
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This chapter provides a critical overview of several influential proposals about the epistemic function of higher-order evidence. I start by criticizing accounts of higher-order evidence that appeal to evidential defeat (§1), epistemic conflicts (§2), and unreasonable knowledge (§3). Next, I propose an alternative account that appeals to a combination of improper basing (§4) and non-ideal rationality (§5). Finally, I conclude by summarizing my reasons for preferring this account of higher-order evidence to the alternatives (§6).

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Declan Smithies
Ohio State University


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