Is there a well-founded solution to the generality problem?

Philosophical Studies 172 (2):459-468 (2015)

Jonathan Matheson
University of North Florida
The generality problem is perhaps the most notorious problem for process reliabilism. Several recent responses to the generality problem have claimed that the problem has been unfairly leveled against reliabilists. In particular, these responses have claimed that the generality problem is either (i) just as much of a problem for evidentialists, or (ii) if it is not, then a parallel solution is available to reliabilists. Along these lines, Juan Comesaña has recently proposed solution to the generality problem—well-founded reliabilism. According to Comesaña, the solution to the generality problem lies in solving the basing problem, such that any solution to the basing problem will give a solution to the generality problem. Comesaña utilizes Conee and Feldman’s evidentialist account of basing (Conee and Feldman’s well-foundedness principle) in forming his version of reliabilism. In this paper I show that Comesaña’s proposed solution to the generality problem is inadequate. Well-founded reliabilism both fails to solve the generality problem and subjects reliabilism to new damning verdicts. In addition, I show that evidentialism does not face any parallel problems, so the generality problem remains a reason to prefer evidentialism to reliabilism
Keywords Reliabilism  Evidentialism  Generality problem  Justification  Epistemology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-014-0312-1
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,236
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What is Justified Belief.Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
Evidentialist Reliabilism.Juan Comesaña - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):571-600.
The Generality Problem for Reliabilism. E. Conee & R. Feldman - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (1):1-29.
A Well-Founded Solution to the Generality Problem.Juan Comesaña - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (1):27-47.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Reliability Problem for Reliabilism.Matthew Frise - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):923-945.
Gender and Language.Grzegorz A. Kleparski & Marta Pikor-Niedziałek - 2011 - American Journal of Semiotics 27 (1/4):284 - 286.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
87 ( #90,122 of 2,254,263 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #155,571 of 2,254,263 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature