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RELIABILISM: HOLISTIC OR SIMPLE?

  • Jeffrey Dunn
Abstract

Simple versions of Reliabilism about justification say that S's believing that p is justified if and only if the belief was produced by a belief-forming process that is reliable above some high threshold. Alvin Goldman, in Epistemology and Cognition, argues for a more complex version of the view according to which it is total epistemic systems that are assessed for reliability, rather than individual processes. Why prefer this more complex version of Reliabilism? Two reasons suggest themselves. First, it seems that the interaction of various processes of belief formation is often important. The more complex version appears to account for the interaction of processes. Second, one might doubt whether individual processes will have determinate truth-ratios. If not, the simple version of Reliabilism is a nonstarter. In this paper I argue that, despite these two apparent advantages, the complex version of Reliabilism is untenable. I conclude by arguing that the simple version is actually fine as it is.

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Episteme
  • ISSN: 1742-3600
  • EISSN: 1750-0117
  • URL: /core/journals/episteme
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