Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):145-159 (2015)

Bob Beddor
National University of Singapore
One attractive feature of process reliabilism is its reductive potential: it promises to explain justification in entirely non-epistemic terms. In this paper, I argue that the phenomenon of epistemic defeat poses a serious challenge for process reliabilism’s reductive ambitions. The standard process reliabilist analysis of defeat is the ‘Alternative Reliable Process Account’ (ARP). According to ARP, whether S’s belief is defeated depends on whether S has certain reliable processes available to her which, if they had been used, would have resulted in S not holding the belief in question. Unfortunately, ARP proves untenable. I show, by way of counterexample, that ARP fails to articulate either necessary or sufficient conditions on defeat. Process reliabilists must either provide an alternative reductive account of defeat or renounce their reductive aspirations.
Keywords reliabilism  defeat  reduction  reasons
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqu075
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
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Citations of this work BETA

What is Epistemic Blame?Jessica Brown - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):389-407.
Defeatism Defeated.Max Baker-Hytch & Matthew A. Benton - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):40-66.
Higher-Order Defeat is Object-Independent.Joshua DiPaolo - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):248-269.
Reliabilism Without Epistemic Consequentialism.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):525-555.

View all 25 citations / Add more citations

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