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dc.contributor.advisorRoger White.en_US
dc.contributor.authorDas, Nilanjan, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.contributor.otherMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2017-02-22T19:03:22Z
dc.date.available2017-02-22T19:03:22Z
dc.date.issued2016en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/107096
dc.descriptionThesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2016.en_US
dc.description"September 2016." Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (pages 119-134).en_US
dc.description.abstractI argue that knowledge and rational belief are subject to stability conditions. A belief that amounts to knowledge couldn't easily have been lost due to the impact of misleading evidence. A belief that is rational couldn't easily have been withdrawn upon reflection on its epistemic credentials. In Chapter 1, I support a picture of epistemic rationality on which a belief, in order to be rational, must be stable under reflection, i.e., it must be capable of surviving reflective scrutiny. To make room for this condition, I defend the possibility of higher-order defeat, where a belief's rationally undermined by misleading higher order evidence, i.e., by evidence about what one's evidence supports. I sketch an account of-higher-order defeat on which higher-order evidence makes an agent's total body of evidence fragmented: even though a piece of evidence is available within the agent's cognitive system, the agent is unable to rationally bring it to bear upon certain questions. In Chapter 2, I explore an analogy between knowledge and moral worth. Just as knowledge requires the agent to non-accidentally believe the truth, so too does morally worthy action require the agent to non-accidentally perform the right action. I argue that the analogy lends support to an explanation-based account of knowledge: a belief amounts to knowledge only if the manner in which the agent forms the belief explains both why the agent holds the belief (rather than losing it) and why she forms a true belief (rather than a false one). I call this view explanationism. In Chapter 3, 1 discuss a consequence of explanationism: a belief that amounts to knowledge couldn't easily be rationally defeated by misleading evidence. This condition-safety from from defeat explains a range of different epistemic phenomena. It accounts for the explanatory role of knowledge in relation to certain kinds of behaviour, like rational perseverance. It obviates certain demanding "internalist" conditions on knowledge. It also illuminates the connection between knowledge and practical interests.en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityby Nilanjan Das.en_US
dc.format.extentviii, 134 pagesen_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.rightsMIT theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed, downloaded, or printed from this source but further reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582en_US
dc.subjectLinguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.titleEpistemic stabilityen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.identifier.oclc971253987en_US


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