1 University of Nebraska - Lincoln of Nebraska - Lincoln Faculty Publications - Department of Philosophy Philosophy, Department of 2018 Pollock and Sturgeon on defeaters Albert Casullo University of Nebraska Lincoln, Follow this and additional works at: Part of the Philosophy Commons Casullo, Albert, "Pollock and Sturgeon on defeaters" (2018). Faculty Publications - Department of Philosophy This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Philosophy, Department of at of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in Faculty Publications - Department of Philosophy by an authorized administrator of of Nebraska - Lincoln.
2 1 Published in Synthese (2018) 195: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Used by permission. Submitted 23 December 2015; accepted 17 March 2016; published 31 March digitalcommons.unl.edu Pollock and Sturgeon on defeaters Albert Casullo University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, USA Correspondence Abstract Scott Sturgeon has recently challenged Pollock s account of undercutting defeaters. The challenge involves three primary contentions: (1) the account is both too strong and too weak, (2) undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat only in conjunction with higher-order beliefs about the basis of the lowerorder beliefs whose justification they target, and (3) since rebutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat in isolation, rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways. My goal is to reject each of these contentions. I maintain that (1) Sturgeon fails to show that Pollock s account of undercutting defeaters is either too strong or too weak, (2) his own account of how undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat is both too strong and too weak, and (3) his claim that rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways is mistaken. Keywords: Pollock, Sturgeon, Defeater, Rebutting, Undercutting, Higher- order belief No writer has contributed more to our understanding of defeaters than John Pollock. Pollock grappled with issues pertaining to defeaters throughout his long and distinguished career. His earliest account appeared in his 1970 paper The Structure of Epistemic Justification and, upon his death in 2009, he left a number of unpublished papers, including Defeasible Reasoning and Degrees of Justification. Central to Pollock s epistemology is an account of justification in terms of reasons, which fall into two broad categories: conclusive
3 2 and nonconclusive. The most important feature of nonconclusive reasons is that they are defeasible. Defeaters fall into two broad categories: rebutting and undercutting. Pollock regarded the identification of undercutting defeaters as one of his most important epistemological contributions and much of his work focused on articulating the nature and scope of such defeaters. Sturgeon (2014) has recently challenged Pollock s account of undercutting defeaters. The challenge involves three primary contentions. First, the account is both too strong and too weak. Second, undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat only in conjunction with higher-order beliefs about the basis of the lower-order beliefs whose justification they target. Third, since rebutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat in isolation, rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways. My goal is to reject each of these contentions. I maintain that (1) Sturgeon fails to show that Pollock s account of undercutting defeaters is either too strong or too weak, (2) his own account of how undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat is both too strong and too weak, and (3) his claim that rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways is mistaken. Sturgeon attacks Pollock s account of undercutting defeaters exclusively by counterexamples. I contend that the counterexample in support of the claim that the account is too strong rests on the assumption that an unjustified belief can be a defeater, an assumption that I reject. I grant that the counterexamples in support of the claim that the account is too weak have intuitive force. Sturgeon takes their intuitive force as sufficient to show that the account is too weak and to support adding to it a higher-order belief requirement. I maintain that the resulting account is both too strong and too weak. Finally, I go on to argue that an adequate account of undercutting defeaters requires addressing the issue of strength of justification, which leads to two surprising results. First, the alleged difference between undercutting and rebutting defeaters articulated by Sturgeon evaporates. Second, a division among approaches to defeaters emerges that parallels the division between internalist and externalist approaches to justification. These results motivate a reconsideration of taking the intuitive force of Sturgeon s counterexamples as sufficient to show that Pollock s account is too weak.
4 3 1 Pollock s account Pollock (1987, p. 484) offers an account of justification in terms of reasons: (2.1) Being in states M 1,, M n is a reason for S to believe Q if and only if it is logically possible for S to be justified in believing Q on the basis of being in states M 1,, M n. Reasons, for Pollock, include both beliefs and nondoxastic states, such as being appeared to as if P and recalling P. Moreover, reasons fall into two broad categories: defeasible and nondefeasible (or conclusive). Nondefeasible reasons logically entail their conclusions; defeasible reasons do not. Pollock (1987, p. 484) calls the latter prima facie reasons, which he defines as (2.2) P is a prima facie reason for S to believe Q if and only if P is a reason for S to believe Q and there is an R such that R is logically consistent with P but (P & R) is not a reason for S to believe Q. The R s that destroy (or defeat) the reason connection are called defeaters, which Pollock (1987, p. 484) defines as (2.3) R is a defeater for P as a prima facie reason for Q if and only if P is a reason for S to believe Q and R is logically consistent with P but (P & R) is not a reason for S to believe Q. Finally, Pollock (1987, p. 485) draws his classic distinction between rebutting and undercutting defeaters: (2.4) R is a rebutting defeater for P as a prima facie reason for Q if and only if R is a defeater and R is a reason for believing Q. (2.5) R is an undercutting defeater for P as a prima facie reason for S to believe Q if and only if R is a defeater and R is a reason for denying that P wouldn t be true unless Q were true.
5 4 Pollock s pioneering work on defeaters centered on the latter. His account of undercutting defeaters is also the target of Sturgeon s counterexamples. 2 Sturgeon s counterexamples Sturgeon (2014, pp ) offers two counterexamples in support of the claim that Pollock s account of undercutting defeaters is too weak. Since the second, dubbed The Misinformed Milk Taster, is a variation of the first, dubbed The Milk Taster, my focus will be on the first: Subject S tastes a bit of milk to see if it s gone off. Being a normal milk taster, S is unaware that her view of the milk is based on smell as much as taste. Indeed she believes her view of the milk is not based on smell, not even in part. When she tastes the milk, however, S has a certain complex gustatory and olfactory experience; and she comes to believe on its basis that the milk is o.k. But S is unaware that she is basing her view of the milk on smell. We may even suppose that S would deny this is true were she to consider the matter. Suppose the milk taster is then told, by someone she trusts, that her nose is bunged up, that she is subject to random olfactory hallucination. This leads her, after a bit of reflection, to deny that she wouldn t have had her overall gustatory and olfactory experience of the milk unless the milk were o.k. After all, she realises that her overall gustatory and olfactory experience of the milk includes the olfactory part of that experience; and she believes herself to be subject to random olfactory hallucination. Nevertheless, her new information does not, and should not, lead her to change her view of the milk. She continues rationally to believe that the milk is o.k. on the basis of her complex gustatory and olfactory experience. Sturgeon (2014, p. 116) offers a single counterexample, dubbed The Presupposer, in support of the claim that the account is too strong:
6 5 Subject S is a normal person who begins with belief in the complex negation said by Pollock to be evidentially supported by undercutting defeaters. Let her start out with closed eyes, a desire to know if a red thing is before her, and a firm presupposition that it is not the case that it wouldn t look to her as if a red thing were before her unless a red thing were before her. She opens her eyes, it looks as if a red thing is before her, and she comes to believe, on that basis, that a red thing is before her. She should not have formed the belief. She has undercutting defeat for her visual experience as a reason for her belief. But she does not have an undercutting defeater in Pollock s sense; for she does not accept the complex negation by appeal to something which supports it. She presupposes the complex negation is true. But it is clear that that alone is sufficient for undercutting defeat. 3 Response to the Presupposer case I begin with the claim that the account is too strong. Sturgeon targets Pollock s contention that R is an undercutting defeater for P as a prima facie reason for believing Q only if R is a reason for denying that P wouldn t be true unless Q were true. He argues that (1) the presupposer believes that it is not the case that it wouldn t look to her as if a red thing were before her unless a red thing were before her, but not on the basis of some reason; and (2) she should not believe that a red object is before her on the basis of her visual experience since the belief in (1) is an undercutting defeater for her visual experience as a reason for her belief. Since the presupposer did not base that belief on a reason, her belief does not satisfy Pollock s definition of undercutting defeat. The argument is not compelling since (2) is a restatement of the conclusion that the case is alleged to support Bergmann (2006) defends the view that unsupported beliefs can be defeaters. I do not consider his arguments in this paper, but his position is open to the objection that I present against Sturgeon.
7 6 There are independent considerations that cast doubt on the view that an unsupported belief in a defeater is sufficient for defeat. To see this, consider a variant of Sturgeon s Presupposer case, called The Optimistic Cognizer: S starts out with closed eyes, a desire to know if a red thing is before her and a firm presupposition that visual perception is reliable in her circumstances. She opens her eyes, it looks as if there is a red thing before her and she comes to believe on that basis that there is a red thing before her. She is then told that the object before her is being illuminated by red light. She should not form the belief that it is not the case that it would not look to her as if a red object were before her unless a red thing were before her. She has a rebutting defeater for that belief. What is the upshot? The Presupposer case is alleged to show that an unsupported belief in an undercutting defeater blocks justification. The Optimistic Cognizer case shows that if that contention is correct then an unsupported belief in the negation of an undercutting defeater (i.e., a belief that the source of the belief in question is reliable) blocks defeat. So, if Sturgeon s contention is correct, S can resist any belief to the effect that her visual perception is unreliable in present circumstances, no matter how well supported it is. She has a defeater-defeater and, as a consequence, her belief remains justified. More generally, if S presupposes that others are unreliable, she frees herself from having to consider any evidence from sources other than herself. She has a rebutting defeater for any belief whose source is testimony. Hence, accepting the view that unjustified beliefs retain their power to defeat results in implausibly low standards for justified beliefs. In effect, prima facie reasons can be transformed into virtually indefeasible reasons merely by believing the appropriate defeater-defeaters. The net effect of Sturgeon s contention is that both defeat and ultimate justification are virtually completely unconstrained. One can ensure that any prima facie source of justification never produces justified beliefs merely by believing that it is unreliable. Moreover, one can ensure that any prima facie source of justification virtually always produces justified beliefs merely by believing that it is reliable in present circumstances, believing that others
8 7 are unreliable and refraining from believing the negation of any belief that it produces. 2 Unless one embraces the view that defeat and ultimate justification are virtually unconstrained, one must deny that unjustified beliefs can be defeaters. It follows that S s belief that p is a defeater only if it is justified or supported by some reason. This condition has both a weak and a strong reading. The weak reading requires only that S have some justification or supporting reason for the belief that p. The strong reading requires, in addition, that S base the belief that p on that justification or supporting reason. The question of which is the correct reading will be addressed in Section 4. 4 Response to the Misinformed Milk Taster case I now turn to the claim that the account is too weak. Sturgeon supports this claim by appeal to the Milk Taster case. He claims that (1) the Milk Taster s belief that the milk is o.k. is based on a complex gustatory and olfactory experience, and (2) the Milk Taster has reason to deny that she would not have had her overall gustatory and olfactory experience of the milk unless the milk were o.k., and (3) that reason should not lead her to change her belief about the taste of the milk. Hence, having a reason to believe that a source is unreliable is not sufficient to defeat justification of a belief based on that source. But what more is required? Sturgeon maintains that a belief about the basis of the undercut belief is also necessary. Suppose that you believe Φ and U is the claim that source S is untrustworthy about whether Φ is true. Sturgeon (2014, 117) maintains that There is a very tight connection between circumstances in which belief is undercut by a defeater and those in which higher-order belief exists concerning the way in which the undercut belief is itself based.... Belief in U undercuts belief in Φ exactly when you are committed to their being a strong link between your belief in Φ and source of information S. 2. The exception is the case of a source that produces both the belief that p and the belief that not-p. Both are not justified.
9 8 So Sturgeon is committed to the following biconditional: (S1) Your belief that source S is untrustworthy about whether Φ is true undercuts your belief that Φ iff you believe that Φ is based on source S. The argument of Section 3 establishes that (S1) is too weak. Your unsupported belief that source S is untrustworthy about whether Φ is true is not an undercutting defeater. Your belief is a defeater only if it is justified or supported by some reason. Hence, (S1) must be replaced by (S2): (S2) Your justified belief that source S is untrustworthy about whether Φ is true undercuts your belief that Φ iff you believe that Φ is based on source S. (S2), however, is also problematic. Sturgeon offers no defense of the claim that an unsupported belief that Φ is based on source S is sufficient to undercut belief that Φ. Moreover, that claim has an implausible consequence. Consider case 1 of The Visualist: Subject S is a normal person who begins with the belief that all her beliefs are based on sight. Let her start out with blocked ears, a desire to know whether there is a dog in her vicinity, and a firm presupposition that all her beliefs are based on sight. She unblocks her ears, it sounds as if there is a dog barking and she comes to believe, on that basis, that there is a dog in the vicinity. She is then told that sight is unreliable in present circumstances. (S2) has the consequence that, in case 1, the Visualist s belief that there is a dog in the vicinity is defeated provided that she continues to believe that sight is the source of all her beliefs and refrains from believing that her belief about the dog is based on hearing. Consider case 2 of The Visualist: Subject S is a normal person who begins with the belief that all her beliefs are based on sight. Let her start out
10 9 with blocked ears, a desire to know whether there is a dog in her vicinity, and a firm presupposition that all her beliefs are based on sight. She unblocks her ears, it sounds as if there is a dog barking and she comes to believe, on that basis, that there is a dog in the vicinity. She is then told that hearing is unreliable in present circumstances. (S2) has the consequence that, in case 2, the Visualist s belief that there is a dog in the vicinity remains justified provided that she continues to believe that sight is the source of all her beliefs and refrains from believing that her belief about the dog is based on hearing. The two Visualist cases establish that (S2) has an implausible consequence. Since (S2) imposes no constraints on the subject s beliefs about the source of justification of her beliefs, it has the consequence that defeat and ultimate justification are unconstrained by undercutting defeaters. If one has a justified belief that some source S is unreliable, one can reject any other belief merely by believing that it is based on source S. Conversely, one can insulate one s beliefs from undercutting defeaters to the effect that some source S is unreliable merely by refraining from believing that any of one s beliefs are based on source S. This implausible consequence strongly suggests that (S2) be revised to require that your belief that Φ is based on source S undercuts your belief that Φ only if that belief is justified. This result parallels our earlier result concerning the status of unjustified defeaters and leads to the following revision of (S2): (S3) Your justified belief that source S is untrustworthy about whether Φ is true undercuts your belief that Φ iff your belief that Φ is based on source S is justified or supported by some reason. The revised condition (i.e., the right condition) has both a weak and a strong reading. The weak reading requires only that one have some justification or supporting reason for the belief that Φ is based on source S. The strong reading requires, in addition, that one s belief that Φ is based on source S is based on that justification or supporting reason.
11 10 The strong reading of the right condition faces a problem. It has the consequence that one can insulate one s beliefs from defeat by undercutters merely by refraining from forming beliefs about the sources of one s beliefs. Consider the case of The Unreflective Cognizer: Suppose that S is a normal cognizer who has a wide range of prima facie justified beliefs based on diverse sources such as visual perception, auditory perception and memory. S, however, is unreflective about the sources of his beliefs and, as a consequence, forms no beliefs about the source of his beliefs. The strong reading of the revised condition in (S3) has the consequence that none of S s beliefs are open to defeat by undercutters. That consequence is implausible since it allows one to arbitrarily lower the standards for the ultimate justification of one s prima facie justified beliefs by refraining from forming beliefs about the source of one s beliefs. The following weak reading of (S3) avoids that implausible consequence: (S4) Your justified belief that S is untrustworthy about whether Φ is true undercuts your belief that Φ iff you have some justification or reason to believe that Φ is based on source S. The two Visualist cases also suggest that the correct reading of the left condition is the weak reading. So we now have: (S5) Your having some justification or reason to believe that S is untrustworthy about whether Φ is true undercuts your belief that Φ iff you have some justification or reason to believe that Φ is based on source S. (S5) leaves in place a higher-order requirement for the operation of undercutting defeaters, which is sufficient to support Sturgeon s primary contention that undercutting and rebutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways provided that he is correct in maintaining that rebutting defeaters work in splendid isolation.
12 11 5 Do rebutting defeaters work in isolation? Sturgeon s contention that rebutters and undercutters work in different ways is supported by two claims: (1) undercutters do their work in tandem with higher-order commitments, and (2) rebutters do their work in splendid isolation. However, as I will now argue, (2) is false. The argument proceeds in two steps. The first draws from our earlier discussion of Sturgeon s Presupposer case. There I rejected the view that an unjustified belief that not-p is a rebutting defeater for a justified belief that P on the grounds that it has the consequence that both defeat and ultimate justification are unconstrained. The second draws out the consequences of rejecting unjustified rebutting defeaters. If an unjustified belief that not-p is not a defeater for a justified belief that P, it follows that a belief that not-p is a rebutting defeater for the justified belief that P only if it is justified. 3 We are now faced with the question: To what degree must a belief that not-p be justified in order to defeat a belief that P justified to degree d? Pollock addressed this issue only late in his career. He offers his most comprehensive treatment of the issue in his 1995 book Cognitive Carpentry. There he argues that a belief that not-p defeats a belief that P justified to degree d only if it is justified to at least degree d. Since nothing turns on the correct answer to this question for purposes of my argument, I will adopt Pollock s answer in order to make my argument more concrete. Consider a cognizer A. Suppose that source S 1 justifies A s belief that P to degree d 1, that source S 2 justifies A s belief that not-p to degree d 2, and that d 1 = d 2. (S 1 and S 2 need not be different sources). Is this sufficient for A s belief that not-p to defeat A s justification for the belief that P? There are three possible responses: 1. Weak Internalist: No, A must believe that d 1 = d Strong Internalist: No, A must believe that d 1 = d 2 and that belief must be justified. 3. Externalist: Yes. I will examine each in turn. 3. Throughout this section, I assume the weak reading of p is justified and similar expressions.
13 12 If one endorses the Weak Internalist response, then higher-order beliefs play a role in rebutting defeat. In order for not-p to rebut P, the cognizer must have (at a minimum) the following beliefs: (1) P is justified to degree d 1 ; and (2) not-p is justified to degree d 2. These beliefs are not the same type of higher-order beliefs implicated in Sturgeon s account of undercutting defeat since they don t make reference to the source of justification but they are, nevertheless, higher-order beliefs. Moreover, their necessity is sufficient to reject Sturgeon s claim that rebutters do their work in splendid isolation. If one endorses the Strong Internalist response, then Sturgeon-type higher-order beliefs also come into play. According to the Strong Internalist response, one must have (at a minimum) justified beliefs that (1) P is justified to degree d 1 ; and (2) not-p is justified to degree d 2. It is hard to see how one could have such justified beliefs without taking into account the source of justification. After all, differences in degree of justification are not a function solely of the content of a belief since two beliefs with the same content can be justified to different degrees. The differences in degree of justification are due, in the first instance, to the source of justification and, in the second, to the conditions (both internal and external to the cognizer) in which the source is operating. So, on the Strong Internalist response, the cognizer must have (in addition) justified beliefs of the form: (1*) P is justified by source S 1, and (2*) not-p is justified by source S 2,where S 1 and S 2, respectively, are the sources of the justification of the belief that P and the belief that not-p. Hence, on the Strong Internalist account, Sturgeon s contention that undercutting defeaters, but not rebutting defeaters, exercise their potential to defeat only in conjunction with Sturgeontype higher-order beliefs is false. Sturgeon can defend the view that rebutting defeaters work in splendid isolation by adopting the Externalist response. According to that response, the fact that d 1 = d 2 is sufficient for A s belief that not-p to defeat the justification of A s belief that P. However, there is a corresponding externalist position with respect to undercutting defeaters. Suppose that A believes that P, P is based on source S and A believes that S is untrustworthy with respect to the truth of P. Is this sufficient for the latter belief to be an undercutting defeater for the former? There are three possible responses:
14 13 1. Weak Internalist: No, A must believe that S is the source of the belief that P. 2. Strong Internalist: No, A must believe S is the source of the belief that P and that belief must be justified. 3. Externalist: Yes. So, if Sturgeon endorses the Externalist response in the case of rebutting defeaters, he must explain why that response fails in the case of undercutting defeaters. If he cannot do so then, although his contention that rebutters work in splendid isolation is correct, that contention fails to support his leading claim that rebutters and undercutters work in fundamentally different ways. I doubt that he can do so. Moreover, if one thinks that the Externalist response is correct in the case of rebutting defeaters, as Sturgeon does, than one also has reason to reject the intuition that supports his conclusion that Pollock s account of undercutting defeaters is too weak. That intuition leads to an implausible consequence in the case of rebutting defeat. The only defense that Sturgeon offers in support of the Weak Internalist response in the case of undercutting defeaters is the case of the Milk Taster. Boiled down to its essential features, the case turns on the following intuition (or claim): Suppose that A s belief that P is justified by source S. Pollock claims that having a reason to believe that source S is untrustworthy with respect to the truth of P is a defeater for that justification. Sturgeon s intuition (or claim) is that if A does not believe that source S is the source of the belief that P, then it is rational for A to continue to believe that P. There is, however, a parallel intuition (or claim) that can be offered for rebutters: Suppose that A s belief that P is justified to degree d by source S. Pollock claims that having a belief that not-p justified to at least degree d is a defeater for that justification. The parallel intuition (or claim) is that if A does not believe that his justification for the belief that not-p is
15 14 greater than or equal to his justification for the belief that P, then it is rational for A to continue to believe that P. It is hard to see a difference between the two cases. Both specify a condition that a defeater must satisfy. Both involve ignorance on the part of the cognizer that the condition is satisfied. One involves ignorance of the source of justification; the other involves ignorance of the degree of justification. There appears to be no relevant difference between the two. 6 Conclusion Sturgeon s primary contention is that rebutting defeaters and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways. That contention is supported by two claims: (1) undercutters do their work in tandem with higher-order commitments, and (2) rebutters do their work in splendid isolation. Sturgeon supports the first by appeal to the Milk Taster case but offers no support for the second. I have argued that the considerations that he offers in support of his first claim apply with equal force to rebutting defeaters. Hence, it follows that either both rebutting and undercutting defeaters do their work in tandem with higher-order commitments or neither does so. Consequently, it is false that rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Workshop on Defeaters, Higher Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat, University of Cologne, June Thanks to Thomas Grundmann for organizing the workshop and inviting me to participate, and to the workshop participants for their valuable feedback and comments.
16 15 References Bergmann, M. (2006). Justification without awareness: A defense of epistemic externalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pollock, J. (1970). The structure of epistemic justification. American Philosophical Quarterly, 4, Pollock, J. (1987). Defeasible reasons. Cognitive Science, 11, Pollock, J. (1995). Cognitive carpentry. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Pollock, J. (unpublished). Defeasible reasoning and degrees of justification. BLEREASONING/Corrected-DefeasibleReasoningAndDegreesOfJustification/DefeasibleReasoningAndDegreesOfJustification.pdf Sturgeon, S. (2014). Pollock on defeasible reasons. Philosophical Studies, 169,
Acta anal. (2007) 22:267 279 DOI 10.1007/s12136-007-0012-y What Is Entitlement? Albert Casullo Received: 30 August 2007 / Accepted: 16 November 2007 / Published online: 28 December 2007 # Springer Science
Can A Priori Justified Belief Be Extended Through Deduction? Introduction It is often assumed that if one deduces some proposition p from some premises which one knows a priori, in a series of individually
The Many Problems of Memory Knowledge (Short Version) Prepared For: The 13 th Annual Jakobsen Conference Abstract: Michael Huemer attempts to answer the question of when S remembers that P, what kind of
Lingnan University Digital Commons @ Lingnan University Theses & Dissertations Department of Philosophy 2014 Is there a distinction between a priori and a posteriori Hiu Man CHAN Follow this and additional
ALTERNATIVE SELF-DEFEAT ARGUMENTS: A REPLY TO MIZRAHI Michael HUEMER ABSTRACT: I address Moti Mizrahi s objections to my use of the Self-Defeat Argument for Phenomenal Conservatism (PC). Mizrahi contends
Reliabilism and the Problem of Defeaters Prof. Dr. Thomas Grundmann Philosophisches Seminar Universität zu Köln Albertus Magnus Platz 50923 Köln E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 4.454 words Reliabilism
Reliabilism: Holistic or Simple? Jeff Dunn email@example.com 1 Introduction A standard statement of Reliabilism about justification goes something like this: Simple (Process) Reliabilism: S s believing
[Published in American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2006): 147-58. Official version: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20010233.] Phenomenal Conservatism and the Internalist Intuition ABSTRACT: Externalist theories
Self-Evidence and A Priori Moral Knowledge Colorado State University BIBLID [0873-626X (2012) 33; pp. 459-467] Abstract According to rationalists about moral knowledge, some moral truths are knowable a
Epistemological Foundations for Koons Cosmological Argument? Koons (2008) argues for the very surprising conclusion that any exception to the principle of general causation [i.e., the principle that everything
24 Testimony and Moral Understanding Anthony T. Flood, Ph.D. Abstract: In this paper, I address Linda Zagzebski s analysis of the relation between moral testimony and understanding arguing that Aquinas
Phenomenal Conservatism, Justification, and Self-defeat Moti Mizrahi Forthcoming in Logos & Episteme ABSTRACT: In this paper, I argue that Phenomenal Conservatism (PC) is not superior to alternative theories
Belief Ownership without Authorship: Agent Reliabilism s Unlucky Gambit against Reflective Luck Benjamin Bayer September 1 st, 2014 Abstract: This paper examines a persuasive attempt to defend reliabilist
Undercutting Defeat & Edgington's Burglar 1 Scott Sturgeon University of Birmingham Game Plan This paper does four things. First it lays out an orthodox position on reasons and defeaters. Then it argues
Skepticism and Internalism John Greco Abstract: This paper explores a familiar skeptical problematic and considers some strategies for responding to it. Section 1 reconstructs and disambiguates the skeptical
PHENOMENAL CONSERVATISM, JUSTIFICATION, AND SELF-DEFEAT Moti MIZRAHI ABSTRACT: In this paper, I argue that Phenomenal Conservatism (PC) is not superior to alternative theories of basic propositional justification
Objections, Rebuttals and Refutations DOUGLAS WALTON CRRAR University of Windsor 2500 University Avenue West Windsor, Ontario N9B 3Y1 Canada firstname.lastname@example.org ABSTRACT: This paper considers how the terms
THINKING ANIMALS AND EPISTEMOLOGY by ANTHONY BRUECKNER AND CHRISTOPHER T. BUFORD Abstract: We consider one of Eric Olson s chief arguments for animalism about personal identity: the view that we are each
Philos Stud (2007) 134:19 24 DOI 10.1007/s11098-006-9016-5 ORIGINAL PAPER Is Klein an infinitist about doxastic justification? Michael Bergmann Published online: 7 March 2007 Ó Springer Science+Business
DAVID HUNTER UNDERSTANDING, JUSTIFICATION AND THE A PRIORI (Received in revised form 28 November 1995) What I wish to consider here is how understanding something is related to the justification of beliefs
PHILOSOPHY 5340 EPISTEMOLOGY Michael Huemer, Skepticism and the Veil of Perception Chapter V. A Version of Foundationalism 1. A Principle of Foundational Justification 1. Mike's view is that there is a
Higher-Order Epistemic Attitudes and Intellectual Humility Allan Hazlett Forthcoming in Episteme Recent discussions of the epistemology of disagreement (Kelly 2005, Feldman 2006, Elga 2007, Christensen
Oxford Scholarship Online You are looking at 1-10 of 21 items for: booktitle : handbook phimet The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology Paul K. Moser (ed.) Item type: book DOI: 10.1093/0195130057.001.0001 This
Phenomenal Conservatism and Skeptical Theism Jonathan D. Matheson 1. Introduction Recently there has been a good deal of interest in the relationship between common sense epistemology and Skeptical Theism.
Western University Scholarship@Western 2015 Undergraduate Awards The Undergraduate Awards 2015 Two Kinds of Ends in Themselves in Kant s Moral Theory David Hakim Western University, email@example.com
Let s Bite the Bullet on Deontological Epistemic Justification: A Response to Robert Lockie 1 Rik Peels, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Abstract In his paper, Robert Lockie points out that adherents of the
New Lessons from Old Demons: The Case for Reliabilism Thomas Grundmann Our basic view of the world is well-supported. We do not simply happen to have this view but are also equipped with what seem to us
Williamson s proof of the primeness of mental states February 3, 2004 1 The shape of Williamson s argument...................... 1 2 Terminology.................................... 2 3 The argument...................................
1 Knowledge and its Limits, by Timothy Williamson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Pp. xi + 332. Review by Richard Foley Knowledge and Its Limits is a magnificent book that is certain to be influential
718 Book Reviews public (p. vii) and one presumably to a more scholarly audience. This history appears to be reflected in the wide variation, in different parts of the volume, in the amount of ground covered,
Volume 6, Number 1 Gale on a Pragmatic Argument for Religious Belief by Philip L. Quinn Abstract: This paper is a study of a pragmatic argument for belief in the existence of God constructed and criticized
1 McDowell and the New Evil Genius Ram Neta and Duncan Pritchard 0. Many epistemologists both internalists and externalists regard the New Evil Genius Problem (Lehrer & Cohen 1983) as constituting an important
Aporia vol. 24 no. 1 2014 Incoherence in Epistemic Relativism I. Introduction In Epistemic Relativism, Mark Kalderon defends a view that has become increasingly popular across various academic disciplines.
A Defense of the Significance of the A Priori A Posteriori Distinction Albert Casullo University of Nebraska-Lincoln The distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge has come under fire by a
Lost in Transmission: Testimonial Justification and Practical Reason Andrew Peet and Eli Pitcovski Abstract Transmission views of testimony hold that the epistemic state of a speaker can, in some robust
1 What Should We Believe? Thomas Kelly, University of Notre Dame James Pryor, Princeton University Blackwell Publishers Consider the following question: What should I believe? This question is a normative
University of Nebraska - Lincoln DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln Faculty Publications - Department of Philosophy Philosophy, Department of 2005 BOOK REVIEW: Gideon Yaffee, Manifest Activity:
s Theory of Defeasible Reasoning Jonathan University of Toronto Northern Institute of Philosophy June 18, 2010 Outline 1 2 Inference 3 s 4 Success Stories: The of Acceptance 5 6 Topics 1 Problematic Bayesian
Acta Anal DOI 10.1007/s12136-010-0111-z Against Phenomenal Conservatism Nathan Hanna Received: 11 March 2010 / Accepted: 24 September 2010 # Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010 Abstract Recently,
Lisa Warenski The Graduate Center of the City University of New York Lwarenski@gc.cuny.edu AUTHOR S PREPRINT Deficiency Arguments Against Empiricism and the Question of Empirical Indefeasibility 1. Introduction
Mentalist evidentialism vindicated (and a super-blooper epistemic design problem for proper function justification) Todd R. Long Abstract Michael Bergmann seeks to motivate his externalist, proper function
Mark Schroeder University of Southern California August 2, 2010 what makes reasons sufficient? This paper addresses the question: what makes reasons sufficient? and offers the answer, being at least as
Published online at Essays in Philosophy 7 (2005) Murphy, Page 1 of 9 REVIEW OF NEW ESSAYS ON SEMANTIC EXTERNALISM AND SELF-KNOWLEDGE, ED. SUSANA NUCCETELLI. CAMBRIDGE, MA: THE MIT PRESS. 2003. 317 PAGES.
Oxford Scholarship Online Abstracts and Keywords ISBN 9780198802693 Title The Value of Rationality Author(s) Ralph Wedgwood Book abstract Book keywords Rationality is a central concept for epistemology,
The Merits of Incoherence firstname.lastname@example.org July 2013 Munich 1. Introducing the Problem Immediate justification: justification to Φ that s not even in part constituted by having justification to Ψ I assume
Phenomenal Conservatism and the Demand for Metajustification * Rogel E. Oliveira Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) School of Humanities Graduate Program in Philosophy Porto Alegre,
In Defense of Radical Empiricism Joseph Benjamin Riegel A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Forthcoming in Philosophical Studies. Online First: http://www.springerlink.com/content/wg56063173kh5h74/ DOI: 10.1007/s11098-010-9635-8 (the final publication will be available at www.springerlink.com).
Epistemological Disjunctivism and the New Evil Demon BJC Madison (Forthcoming in Acta Analytica, 2013) Draft Version Do Not Cite Without Approval I) Introduction: The dispute between epistemic internalists
E. J. COFFMAN DEFENDING KLEIN ON CLOSURE AND SKEPTICISM ABSTRACT. In this paper, I consider some issues involving a certain closure principle for Structural Justification, a relation between a cognitive
Coin flips, credences, and the Reflection Principle * BRETT TOPEY Abstract One recent topic of debate in Bayesian epistemology has been the question of whether imprecise credences can be rational. I argue
MULTI-PEER DISAGREEMENT AND THE PREFACE PARADOX Kenneth Boyce and Allan Hazlett Abstract The problem of multi-peer disagreement concerns the reasonable response to a situation in which you believe P1 Pn
1 Internalism and externalism about justification Theories of epistemic justification can be divided into two groups: internalist and externalist. Internalist theories of justification say that whatever
A Solution to the Gettier Problem Keota Fields Problem cases by Edmund Gettier 1 and others 2, intended to undermine the sufficiency of the three traditional conditions for knowledge, have been discussed
Analysis Advance Access published June 15, 2009 Generic truth and mixed conjunctions: some alternatives AARON J. COTNOIR Christine Tappolet (2000) posed a problem for alethic pluralism: either deny the
IN DEFENCE OF CLOSURE IN DEFENCE OF CLOSURE By RICHARD FELDMAN Closure principles for epistemic justification hold that one is justified in believing the logical consequences, perhaps of a specified sort,
Prequel for Section 4.2 of Defending the Correspondence Theory Published by PJP VII, 1 From Necessary Truth to Necessary Existence Abstract I introduce new details in an argument for necessarily existing
DISCUSSION NOTE BY CAMPBELL BROWN JOURNAL OF ETHICS & SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY DISCUSSION NOTE MAY 2015 URL: WWW.JESP.ORG COPYRIGHT CAMPBELL BROWN 2015 Two Versions of Hume s Law MORAL CONCLUSIONS CANNOT VALIDLY
by Crispin Wright and Martin Davies II Martin Davies EPISTEMIC ENTITLEMENT, WARRANT TRANSMISSION AND EASY KNOWLEDGE ABSTRACT Wright s account of sceptical arguments and his use of the idea of epistemic
CURRICULUM VITAE STEPHEN JACOBSON Senior Lecturer Department of Philosophy Georgia State University Atlanta, Georgia 30303 Phone (404) 413-6100 (work) E-mail email@example.com EDUCATION University of Michigan,
Is Epistemic Probability Pascalian? James B. Freeman Hunter College of The City University of New York ABSTRACT: What does it mean to say that if the premises of an argument are true, the conclusion is
INTERPRETATION AND FIRST-PERSON AUTHORITY: DAVIDSON ON SELF-KNOWLEDGE David Beisecker University of Nevada, Las Vegas It is a curious feature of our linguistic and epistemic practices that assertions about
Constructive Logic, Truth and Warranted Assertibility Greg Restall Department of Philosophy Macquarie University Version of May 20, 2000....................................................................
Interest-Relativity and Testimony Jeremy Fantl, University of Calgary In her Testimony and Epistemic Risk: The Dependence Account, Karyn Freedman defends an interest-relative account of justified belief
NOÛS 34:4 ~2000! 517 549 The Skeptic and the Dogmatist James Pryor Harvard University I Consider the skeptic about the external world. Let s straightaway concede to such a skeptic that perception gives
Williamson on Knowledge, by Patrick Greenough and Duncan Pritchard (eds). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. ix+400. 60.00. According to Timothy Williamson s knowledge-first epistemology
Basic Knowledge and the Problem of Easy Knowledge (Rough Draft-notes incomplete not for quotation) Stewart Cohen I It is a truism that we acquire knowledge of the world through belief sources like sense
Sensitivity has Multiple Heterogeneity Problems: a Reply to Wallbridge Guido Melchior Philosophia Philosophical Quarterly of Israel ISSN 0048-3893 Philosophia DOI 10.1007/s11406-017-9873-5 1 23 Your article
Introduction to Cognitivism; Motivational Externalism; Naturalist Cognitivism Felix Pinkert 103 Ethics: Metaethics, University of Oxford, Hilary Term 2015 Cognitivism, Non-cognitivism, and the Humean Argument
Essays in Philosophy Volume 13 Issue 1 Philosophical Methodology Article 17 January 2012 Intuition as Philosophical Evidence Federico Mathías Pailos University of Buenos Aires Follow this and additional
348 john n. williams References Alston, W. 1986. Epistemic circularity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47: 1 30. Beebee, H. 2001. Transfer of warrant, begging the question and semantic externalism.
For a symposium on Imogen Dickie s book Fixing Reference to be published in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Aboutness and Justification Dilip Ninan firstname.lastname@example.org September 2016 Al believes
INFERENTIALIST RELIABILISM AND PROPER FUNCTIONALISM: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS AS DEFENSES OF EXTERNALISM by AMY THERESA VIVIANO A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE
CARTESIANISM, NEO-REIDIANISM, AND THE A PRIORI: REPLY TO PUST Gregory STOUTENBURG ABSTRACT: Joel Pust has recently challenged the Thomas Reid-inspired argument against the reliability of the a priori defended
Seeing Through The Veil of Perception * Abstract Suppose our visual experiences immediately justify some of our beliefs about the external world, that is, justify them in a way that does not rely on our
Weithman 1. Comment on Robert Audi, Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State Among the tasks of liberal democratic theory are the identification and defense of political principles that
Reply to Kit Fine Theodore Sider July 19, 2013 Kit Fine s paper raises important and difficult issues about my approach to the metaphysics of fundamentality. In chapters 7 and 8 I examined certain subtle
DISCUSSION NOTE CHECKING THE NEIGHBORHOOD: A REPLY TO DIPAOLO AND BEHRENDS ON PROMOTION BY NATHANIEL SHARADIN JOURNAL OF ETHICS & SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY DISCUSSION NOTE FEBRUARY 2016 Checking the Neighborhood:
Entitlement, epistemic risk and scepticism Luca Moretti email@example.com University of Aberdeen & Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy Draft of April 23, 2017 ABSTRACT Crispin Wright maintains
American Philosophical Quarterly Volume 50, Number 1, January 2013 Doxastic Voluntarism, Epistemic Deontology, and Belief- Contravening Commitments Michael J. Shaffer 1. Introduction A number of epistemologists