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Understanding Undermining Defeat

Melis G (2014) Understanding Undermining Defeat, Philosophical Studies, 170 (3), pp. 433-442.

Taking the inspiration from some points made by Scott Sturgeon and Albert Casullo, I articulate a view according to which an important difference between undermining and overriding defeaters is that the former require the subject to engage in some higher-order epistemic thinking, while the latter don’t. With the help of some examples, I argue that underminers push the cognizer to reflect on the way she formed a belief by challenging the epistemic worthiness of either the source of justification or the specific justificatory process. By contrast, overriders needn’t pose any such challenge. I also consider some problems for the proposed view, and I put forward some possible solutions. Finally, I provide some details on how undermining defeat works in different cases.

Epistemology; Defeaters; Undermining; Overriding; Justificatory process; Higher-order

AuthorsMelis Giacomo
Publication date09/2014
Publication date online16/11/2013
ISSN 0031-8116

Philosophical Studies: Volume 170, Issue 3

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