Chapter

DIRECT REALISM AND RELIABILISM

Martin Kusch

in Knowledge by Agreement

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780199251223
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601767 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199251223.003.0010
DIRECT REALISM AND RELIABILISM

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Discusses two ‘impatient’ ways of escaping the see‐saw of foundationalism and coherentism: direct realism (John McDowell) and reliabilism (Alvin Goldman). The latter two try to overcome the difficulties of the former two by radical means. Direct realism assimilates the world to a system of beliefs. Reliabilism reduces the knower to a reliable instrument for the adoption of beliefs. The author argues that neither solution works. Direct realism addresses the question of rational constraint, but it does so by personifying the world in an unacceptable manner. Reliabilism overlooks that reliability is a social status, not a natural fact.

Keywords: communitarianism; direct realism; reliabilism; process reliabilism; virtue epistemology

Chapter.  3713 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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