The evidential support relation.
Access changed 1/13/14.
Evidentialist views in epistemology, like that of Earl Conee and Richard Feldman, define epistemic justification at least partially in terms of evidential support. According to these views, a person is justified in believing a proposition p just when her evidence supports p. The subject of this dissertation is the evidential support relation at the heart of these views—viz., the relation which obtains between a person’s evidence e and a proposition p just when e supports p in the sense required by these views. I engage three initially tempting accounts of this relation in terms of meta-attitudes, explanatory relations, and probabilistic relations, finding all three accounts wanting. I then propose a fourth, causal account. My thesis is that evidentialists like Conee and Feldman should find this causal account of the evidential support relation more attractive than the other three kinds of account.