On social defeat

B. J.C. Madison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Influential cases have been provided that seem to suggest that one can fail to have knowledge because of the social environment. If not a distinct kind of social defeater, is there a uniquely social phenomenon that defeats knowledge? My aim in this paper is to explore these questions. I shall argue that despite initial appearances to the contrary, we have no reason to accept a special class of social defeater, nor any essentially social defeat phenomenon. We can explain putative cases of social defeat with our existing epistemological apparatus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-734
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Defeaters
  • Epistemology
  • Social epistemology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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