IP Guest Seminar

IP Guest Seminar
16 August 2019, 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


Modal Insecurity

Tomas Bogardus (Pepperdine) 



Modalists think that knowledge requires forming your belief in a “modally stable” way: using a method that wouldn’t easily go wrong (i.e. safety), or using a method that wouldn’t have given you this belief had it been false (i.e. sensitivity). Recent Modalist projects from Justin Clarke-Doane and Dan Baras defend a principle they call “Modal Security”: if evidence undermines your belief, then it must give you a reason to doubt the safety or sensitivity of your belief. Another recent Modalist project from Carlotta Pavese and Bob Beddor defends “Modal Virtue Epistemology”: knowledge is a belief that is maximally modally robust across “normal” worlds. We’ll offer new objections to these recent Modalist projects. We will then argue for a rival view, Explanationism: knowing something is believing it because it’s true. We will show how Explanationism offers a better analysis of undermining defeaters than Modalism, and a better analysis of knowledge.


Institute of Philsophy
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