Normalcy, justification, and the easy-defeat problem

Marvin Backes

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent years have seen the rise of a new family of non-probabilistic accounts of epistemic justification. According to these views—we may call them Normalcy Views—a belief in P is justified only if, given the evidence, there exists no normal world in which S falsely beliefs that P. This paper aims to raise some trouble for this new approach to justification by arguing that Normalcy Views, while initially attractive, give rise to problematic accounts of epistemic defeat. As we will see, on Normalcy Views seemingly insignificant pieces of evidence turn out to have considerable defeating powers. This problem—I will call it the Easy-Defeat Problem—gives rise to a two-pronged challenge. First, it shows that the Normalcy View has counterintuitive implications and, second, it opens the door to an uncomfortable skeptical threat.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophical Studies
VolumeFirst Online
Early online date20 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2018


  • Justification
  • Defeat
  • Normalcy
  • Multi premise closure
  • Lotteries

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