Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Thomas D. Senor

Committee Member

Jack Lyons

Second Committee Member

Eric Funkhouser

Abstract

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.

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