Prospect and Retrospect

Alvin Plantinga

in Warrant: The Current Debate

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780195078626
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833559 | DOI:
Prospect and Retrospect

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In this chapter, I take stock of the arguments and conclusions of the previous nine chapters, noting that the idea of proper function figures prominently in the difficulties from which the main current views of warrant suffer. This fact suggests that the notion of proper function is much more deeply involved in our idea of warrant than is currently recognized. In Warrant and Proper Function, I shall examine this suggestion in detail; in this chapter, (the final chapter of Warrant: The Current Debate), I give an outline of the content of Warrant and Proper Function. In so doing, I introduce the claim that the paradigmatic cases of a belief's having warrant are cases such that (1) the belief is produced by cognitive faculties functioning properly (i.e., functioning in accord with the cognizer's design plan), (2) the cognitive environment in which the belief is produced is one sufficiently similar to the environment for which the relevant cognitive faculty or faculties were designed, (3) the belief is such that the purpose of the module of the faculties producing the belief is to produce true beliefs, and (4) the design plan in question is a good one.

Keywords: cognitive environment; design plan; proper function; warrant

Chapter.  2585 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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