Acta Analytica:1-17 (forthcoming)

Abstract
Higher-order evidence appears to have the ability to defeat rational belief. It is not obvious, however, why exactly the defeat happens. In this paper, I consider two competing explanations of higher-order defeat: the “Objective Higher-Order Defeat Explanation” and the “Subjective Higher-Order Defat Explanation.” According to the former explanation, possessing sufciently strong higher-order evidence to indicate that one’s belief about p fails to be rational is necessary and sufcient for defeating one’s belief about p. I argue that this type of explanation is defective or at best collapses into the other type of explanation. According to the latter explanation, Believing that one’s belief about p fails to be rational (in response to higherorder evidence about p) is necessary and sufcient for defeating one’s belief aboutp. I argue that this type of explanation is better suited to explain higher-order defeat given that what one is rational to believe partly depends on the relations among one’s doxastic attitudes. Finally, I address an peculiar feature of the Subjective Higher-Order Defeat Explanation: higher-order defeat becomes contingent on one’s response to the higher-order evidence.
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-022-00522-3
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The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.

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