Objectivist conditions for defeat and evolutionary debunking arguments

Ratio 32 (4):246-259 (2019)
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I make a case for distinguishing clearly between subjective and objective accounts of undercutting defeat and for rejecting a hybrid view that takes both subjective and objective elements to be relevant for whether or not a belief is defeated. Moderate subjectivists claim that taking a belief to be defeated is sufficient for the belief to be defeated; subjectivist idealists add that if an idealised agent takes a belief to be defeated then the belief is defeated. Subjectivist idealism evades some of the objections levelled against moderate subjectivism but can be shown to yield inconsistent results in some cases. Both subjectivisms should be rejected. We should be objectivists regarding undercutting defeat. This requirement, however, is likely to be problematic for a popular interpretation of evolutionary debunking arguments in metaethics as it can be shown that existing objectivist accounts of defeat do not support such arguments. I end by discussing the constraints of developing such an account.



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Michael Klenk
Delft University of Technology

Citations of this work

Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane & Dan Baras - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):162-183.
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Process reliabilism's troubles with defeat.Bob Beddor - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):145-159.

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