The Hardest Paradox for Closure

The Hardest Paradox for Closure
11 February 2020, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Speaker: Martin Smith (Edinburgh)

Title: The Hardest Paradox for Closure

Abstract: According to the principle of Conjunction Closure, if one has justification for believing each of a set of propositions, one has justification for believing their conjunction.  The lottery and preface paradoxes can both be seen as posing challenges for Closure, but leave open familiar strategies for preserving the principle. While this is all relatively well-trodden ground, a new Closure-challenging paradox has recently emerged, in two somewhat different forms, due to Marvin Backes (2019) and Francesco Praolini (2019).  This paradox synthesises elements of the lottery and the preface and is designed to close off the familiar Closure-preserving strategies.  By appealing to a 'normic' theory of justification, I will defend Closure in the face of this new paradox - and then draw some general conclusions about the connections between justification, normalcy and defeat.

The Centre for Logic and Language hosts a regular seminar series - the Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics Forum (LEM). The forum generally meets fortnightly in term time.


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