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Reasons Against Belief: A Theory of Epistemic Defeat

Dissertation, University of Nebraska - Lincoln (2015)

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  1. Defeaters and the Generality Problem.Tim Loughrist - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13845-13860.
    Consider a simple form of process reliabilism: S is justified in believing that p if and only if S’s belief that p was formed through a reliable process. Such accounts are thought to face a counter-example in the form of defeaters. It seems possible that a belief might result from a reliable belief forming process and yet be unjustified because one possesses a defeater with respect to that belief. This counter-example is merely apparent. The problem of defeaters is just a (...)
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  • Replacement and Reasoning: A Reliabilist Account of Epistemic Defeat.Jan Constantin - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3437-3457.
    In this paper, I present a solution to the problem that the need to accommodate the phenomenon of epistemic defeat poses for reliabilism. Defeaters are supposed to remove justification for previously justified beliefs. According to standard process reliabilism, the justification of a belief depends on the reliability of a process that is already completed when a defeater for that belief is obtained. It is hard to see, then, how a defeater can affect reliabilist justification, if that justification, from the perspective (...)
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  • Epistemic authority: preemption through source sensitive defeat.Jan Constantin & Thomas Grundmann - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):4109-4130.
    Modern societies are characterized by a division of epistemic labor between laypeople and epistemic authorities. Authorities are often far more competent than laypeople and can thus, ideally, inform their beliefs. But how should laypeople rationally respond to an authority’s beliefs if they already have beliefs and reasons of their own concerning some subject matter? According to the standard view, the beliefs of epistemic authorities are just further, albeit weighty, pieces of evidence. In contrast, the Preemption View claims that, when one (...)
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