Modal Security

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):162-183 (2021)
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Modal Security is an increasingly discussed proposed necessary condition on undermining defeat. Modal Security says, roughly, that if evidence undermines (rather than rebuts) one’s belief, then one gets reason to doubt the belief's safety or sensitivity. The primary interest of the principle is that it seems to entail that influential epistemological arguments, including Evolutionary Debunking Arguments against moral realism and the Benacerraf-Field Challenge for mathematical realism, are unsound. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine Modal Security in detail. We develop and discuss what we take to be the strongest objections to the principle. One of the aims of the paper is to expose the weakness of these objections. Another is to reveal how the debate over Modal Security interacts with core problems in epistemology — including the generality problem, and the distinction between direct and indirect evidence.

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Author Profiles

Justin Clarke-Doane
Columbia University
Dan Baras
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Citations of this work

Morality and Mathematics.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
An Explanationist Account of Genealogical Defeat.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (1):176-195.
Mathematics and Metaphilosophy.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
A modal theory of discrimination.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Synthese 198 (11):10661-10684.

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References found in this work

A Darwinian dilemma for realist theories of value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Mind 93 (371):450-455.
Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
Morality and Mathematics.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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