Dispositional Evaluations and Defeat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Subjects who retain their beliefs in the face of higher-order evidence that those very beliefs are outputs of flawed cognitive processes are at least very often criticisable. Many think that this is because such higher-order evidence defeats various epistemic statuses such as justification and knowledge, but it is notoriously difficult to give an account of such defeat. This paper outlines an alternative explanation, stemming from some of my earlier work, for why subjects are criticisable for retaining beliefs in the face of paradigm kinds of putatively defeating higher-order evidence: they manifest dispositions that are bad relative to a range of candidate epistemic successes such as true belief and knowledge. In particular, being disposed to only give up belief in response to higher-order evidence when that evidence is not misleading would require subjects to have dispositions that discriminate between cases in which their original cognitive processes is fine, and cases in which they merely seemed to be fine. But, I argue, such dispositions are not normally humanly feasible. I show that retaining belief in putative cases of defeat by higher-order evidence is problematic irrespective of whether veritism or some form of gnosticism is true. In the end I contrast my account of dispositional evaluations with similar-sounding ideas that have been put forth in the literature, such as consequentialist views that focus on instrumental means to success.
Original languageFinnish
Title of host publicationReasons, Justification and Defeat
EditorsJessica Brown, Mona Simion
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusIn preparation - 2020
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 611 Philosophy

Cite this

Lasonen-Aarnio, M. (2020). Dispositional Evaluations and Defeat. Manuscript in preparation. In J. Brown, & M. Simion (Eds.), Reasons, Justification and Defeat Oxford University Press.