In defense of reliabilism

Philosophical Studies 134 (1):31 - 42 (2007)
Objections to reliabilist theories of knowledge and justification have looked insuperable. Reliability is a property of the process of belief formation. But the generality problem apparently makes the specification of any such process ambiguous. The externalism of reliability theories clashes with strongly internalist intuitions. The reliability property does not appear closed under truth-preserving inference, whereas closure principles have strong intuitive appeal. And epistemic paradoxes, like the preface and the lottery, seem unavoidable if knowledge or justification depends on the frequency with which a process generates true beliefs. The present theory has the conceptual resources to meet these challenges. It requires that a justificatory belief-formation process be intentionally applied. It distinguishes the justification of beliefs from that of the believer. And it avoids a frequency interpretation of reliability by introducing a notion of the normalcy of conditions under which processes are intentionally used.
Keywords Justification  Reliability  Closure  Coherence  Skepticism  Externalism  Contextualism
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References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1996). Elusive Knowledge. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Ernest Sosa (1991). Knowledge in Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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