Is the Truth Condition Superfluous for Defeasibility Theories of Knowledge?

TitleIs the Truth Condition Superfluous for Defeasibility Theories of Knowledge?
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAytaç, Uğur
JournalKilikya Felsefe Dergisi
Date Published2018
KeywordsAnalysis of Knowledge, Defeasibility, Epistemology, Justification, Truth

Defeasibility theories aim to reach a plausible definition of knowledge by finding strategies to exclude true beliefs based on faulty justifications. Different philosophers have advanced with their own understandings of undefeated justification. Zagzebski (1994) indicates that the strong defeasibility condition violates independence between truth and justification because undefeated justification never leads to false beliefs. Following this, Zagzebski and some other philosophers who pursue a similar line of reasoning (e.g., Merricks, 1995) conclude that undefeated justification entails truth. In this paper, I argue that the truth condition is not superfluous by presenting an example of undefeated justification that does not entail truth. My claim is that beliefs about metaphysical questions (e.g., Does God exist?) can have undefeated justifications. Nonetheless, such undefeated justifications are not capable of assigning truth to the beliefs that they support.

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