Defeasibility Without Inductivism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Four principles widely accepted in contemporary epistemology, lead to a contradiction. According to one such principle, it is possible to be justified in believing a proposition on the basis of evidence that does not entail it., call this “inductivism”. In this paper, I want to examine one solution to the problem which has not received much attention in the literature: abandoning skepticism. Many authors have assumed that only inductive evidence is defeasible. If the assumption is correct, then giving up Inductivism entails giving up the defeasibility of justification. This result should be particularly unpalatable to virtue epistemologists, for it suggests an untenable kind of dogmatism on the part of subjects who are justified. I argue, however, that a belief can be defeasibly justified even if the evidence entails it. It is open to anyone, including the virtue epistemologist, to give up Inductivism as a solution to the problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292


  • Closure Principle
  • Epistemic Virtue
  • Justify Belief
  • Total Evidence
  • Virtue Epistemologist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


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