Complexly Based Beliefs and the Generality Problem for Reliabilism

Quaestiones Disputatae 8 (2):19-35 (2018)
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Abstract

This essay argues that certain cases involving what I shall term complexly based belief, where a belief is formed via complex inference to the best explanation, pose a serious difficulty for reliabilist theories of epistemic justification or warrant. Many of our most important beliefs appear to be of this character. The problem, in short, is that in such cases we cannot identify any belief-forming process type that is such as to yield an intuitively correct verdict on the epistemic status of the agent’s belief. If this is correct, then no proposed solution to the generality problem can succeed.

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Max Baker-Hytch
Oxford University (DPhil)

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