Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA)
Thomas D. Senor
Second Committee Member
Philosophy, religion and theology; Epistemology; Etiology; Evolutionary debunking; Irrelevant factors; Psychology of belief; Religious beliefs
The problem of epistemically irrelevant causal factors is an epistemological phenomenon that occurs when a person becomes aware of some non-epistemic, causal factor that threatens to adversely influence her present belief, yet this factor is irrelevant to her deliberation concerning that belief. While the problem itself is apparently relatively widespread, very few have given it a detailed analysis. This thesis is one attempt to improve that. The first part, and the bulk, of this thesis is an analysis and explanation of what exactly the problem is and how it differs from nearby, related epistemological phenomena. The second part is my attempt at providing a meaningful solution to the problem such that one can remain justified in one’s beliefs despite becoming aware of an epistemically irrelevant causal factor.
McAllister, Derek L., "The Problem of Epistemically Irrelevant Causal Factors" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 1299.