Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy

Luís Estevinha Rodrigues

Federal University of Ceará & LanCog

Belief-Basing, Epistemic Justification and Luck

27 April 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: Bondy & Pritchard (2016, henceforth B&P) claim to have discovered a novel kind of harmful epistemic luck that can explain improper belief-basing. They call it propositional epistemic luck. In this talk, I examine their account of improper belief-basing and try to make salient some issues that, I think, militate against it. First, I tackle the example that B&P offer to illustrate their view, arguing that its plausibility depends on the acceptance of mundane epistemological aspects and occurrences that have little to do with epistemic luck. Secondly, I contend that the line between proper and improper belief-basing must be drawn within the realm of doxastic justification, and not of propositional justification, as suggested by B&P, since some highly doxastically justified beliefs can also be affected by a luck-basing phenomenon (which I will call ‘doxastic-basing luck’), thereby also failing to be properly based beliefs. At the end of my talk, I will submit a tentative clarification of what it takes for a belief to be properly based. I will hold that – having in mind an accurate epistemic performance and knowledge as primary goals of believing – a properly based belief must be a non-lucky fully doxastically justified belief.