(58) This understanding of "evidence" is unorthodox insofar as it does not signify an epistemic support relation: not every determinant of a moral belief is also an epistemically good reason for that belief (for some subject); see Huemer, "The Problem of Defeasible
(39) Beliefs underlying people's decisions are overwhelmingly probabilistic and defeasible
. (40) They incorporate experience and intuitions by which the decision-makers interpret evidence.
Those who view authority as something defeasible
are prepared to accept radical revisions in terms of the status and prestige accorded to individual persons over time.
The common law, for example, has generally been defeasible
by statute; indeed, it was generally received into American law under the express condition that this would be so.
In constitutional law, we describe this process of making judgments about defeasible
rights as one of balancing private rights against public concerns.
Although I have given precedence to critique--with the hope of encouraging debate--and although I maintain that the author's assumptions, approaches, and conclusions are defeasible
, I believe this book to be a contribution of the highest order.
Emotive (or ethical) terms are the keystone of complex patterns of defeasible
reasoning from classification, values, and consequences, whose defeasibility conditions need to be investigated.
This may be right, but it neglects the (admittedly defeasible
) role our feelings play as a source of information about our own circumstances, our relations to others, and even the supportive or hostile features of our own surroundings.
These requirements are prima facie (or, more accurately, pro tanto) obligations, which are taken to be defeasible
or open to being overridden by conflicting obligations.