Reliabilism—modal, probabilistic or contextualist

Grazer Philosophische Studien 79 (1):77-89 (2009)


This paper discusses two versions of reliabilism: modal and probabilistic reliabilism. Modal reliabilism faces the problem of the missing closeness metric for possible worlds while probalistic reliabilism faces the problem of the relevant reference class. Despite the severity of these problems, reliabilism is still very plausible (also for independent reasons). I propose to stick with reliabilism, propose a contextualist (or, alternatively, harmlessly relativist) solution to the above problems and suggest that probabilistic reliabilism has the advantage over modal reliabilism.

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Peter Baumann
Swarthmore College

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