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Synthese

, Volume 195, Issue 7, pp 2897–2906 | Cite as

Pollock and Sturgeon on defeaters

  • Albert CasulloEmail author
S.I.: Defeaters in Current Epistemology

Abstract

Scott Sturgeon has recently challenged Pollock’s account of undercutting defeaters. The challenge involves three primary contentions: (1) the account is both too strong and too weak, (2) undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat only in conjunction with higher-order beliefs about the basis of the lower-order beliefs whose justification they target, and (3) since rebutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat in isolation, rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways. My goal is to reject each of these contentions. I maintain that (1) Sturgeon fails to show that Pollock’s account of undercutting defeaters is either too strong or too weak, (2) his own account of how undercutting defeaters exercise their power to defeat is both too strong and too weak, and (3) his claim that rebutting and undercutting defeaters work in fundamentally different ways is mistaken.

Keywords

Pollock Sturgeon Defeater Rebutting Undercutting  Higher-order belief 

References

  1. Bergmann, M. (2006). Justification without awareness: A defense of epistemic externalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Pollock, J. (1970). The structure of epistemic justification. American Philosophical Quarterly, 4, 62–78.Google Scholar
  3. Pollock, J. (1987). Defeasible reasons. Cognitive Science, 11, 481–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Pollock, J. (1995). Cognitive carpentry. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Sturgeon, S. (2014). Pollock on defeasible reasons. Philosophical Studies, 169, 105–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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