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Defeat and Epistemic Responsibility Workshop

Research Project: Evidence, Justification and Knowledge

7th June 2015 - 8th June 2015

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Confirmed speakers are: Jessica Brown (St Andrews), Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern); Jim Pryor (New York); Nico Silins (Cornell University/Yale-NUS College) and Jonathan Weisberg (Toronto)

According to the orthodox view in epistemology, a subject who initially justifiably believes that p, or knows that p, can receive evidence which defeats her justification or knowledge. Examples of such evidence might include evidence that not‐p, evidence that the subject’s belief was produced by an unreliable process or that the subject has taken a reason distorting drug. However, this orthodoxy has recently come under attack. Some argue that defeat cannot be smoothly incorporated into mainstream externalist accounts of justification and knowledge. Others argue that defeat cannot be properly incorporated within formal Bayesian approaches to epistemology. Others worry that if defeat is taken to include not just information the subject has, but objective facts concerning her environment, then we will have much less justified belief or knowledge than we think. In the light of such worries, some have recently suggested that so‐called “defeating” evidence does not defeat at all. Instead, they suggest that someone who persists in believing that p in the face of such defeating evidence is being epistemically irresponsible. The aim of the workshop is to examine the orthodox view of defeat and whether it can overcome these contemporary challenges. Given the importance of the notion of defeat in a wide range of debates, the topic of the workshop has wider importance for debates concerning closure for justification and knowledge, peer disagreement, the nature of higher‐order evidence, externalism versus internalism, epistemic norms and responsibility.

Workshop Schedule
Sunday 7th June
14:30-16:00 Jessica Brown Defeat, dogmatism and Bayesianism
16:00-16:30 Tea/Coffee
16:30-18:00 Jim Pryor The Merits of Incoherence
Monday 8th June
10:00-1130 Sandy Goldberg The Asymmetry Thesis and the Doctrine of Normative Defeat
11:30-13:00 Jonathan Weisberg Undefeatable Kimmy Conditionalizer
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 Nico Sillins Reading The Bad News About Our Minds
This event is open to all philosophers in Scotland and is made possible by the generous support of the Scots Philosophical Association.

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For more information, please send an email to the workshop organisers at arche@st-andrews.ac.uk



7th June 2015
8th June 2015


Parliament Hall

Other events in Evidence, Justification and Knowledge

Jun 2015: St Andrews Normative Reasons Workshop

Jun 2014: Fallibilism and Evidence

Jun 2019: Super Special Seminar: Jeremy Fantl (Calgary), “On Inviting Problematic Speakers to Campus”

Jun 2018: JoshFest: A Memorial Conference for Josh Parsons

Jun 2018: The Epistemology of Perception & the Perceptual Analogy Workshop