Against Actual-world Reliabilism

Peter J. Graham

in Performance Epistemology

Published in print February 2016 | ISBN: 9780198746942
Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191809156 | DOI:
Against Actual-world Reliabilism

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Reliabilism about epistemic justification claim that what makes epistemically correct procedures of belief-formation correct is that these procedures produce reliably true outcomes. If correct procedures are necessarily correct, and reliability in the world of use is only contingent, then reliability in the world of use cannot be what makes correct procedures correct. The reliabilist rejoinder shifts from de facto reliability to reliability in a special set of worlds; reliability in special worlds makes correct procedures correct in all worlds. The most popular version identifies special worlds with the actual world; correct procedures in all worlds are reliable procedures in the actual world. There are two variants: absolutist actual-world reliabilism and indexicalist actual-world reliabilism. Neither work. Both fail to substantively explain why procedures are made correct by reliability in the actual world. The way forward is to shift from reliability in the actual world to reliability in normal conditions.

Keywords: reliabilism; actual-world reliabilism; indexicalism; Ernest Sosa; Alvin Goldman

Chapter.  11816 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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