Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics Seminar

Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics Seminar
16 May 2017, 17:30 to 16 May 2017, 19:30
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

What is justified credence?


Richard Pettigrew (Bristol University)    


In this paper, we seek a reliabilist account of justified credence. Reliabilism about justified beliefs comes in two varieties: process reliabilism (Goldman, 1979, 2008) and indicator reliabilism (Alston, 1988, 2005). Existing accounts of reliabilism about justified credence comes in the same two varieties: Jeff Dunn’s is a version of process reliabilism (Dunn, 2015) while Weng Hong Tang offers a version of indicator reliabilism (Tang, 2016). As we will see, both face the same objection. If they are right about what justification is, it is mysterious why we care about justification, for neither of the accounts explains how justification is connected to anything of epistemic value. We will call this the Connection Problem. I begin by describing Dunn’s process reliabilism and Tang’s indicator reliabilism. I argue that, understood correctly, they are, in fact, extensionally equivalent. That is, Dunn and Tang reach the top of the same mountain, albeit by different routes. However, I argue that both face the Connection Problem. In response, I offer my own version of reliabilism, which is both process and indicator, and I argue that it solves that problem. Furthermore, I show that it is also extensionally equivalent to Dunn’s reliabilism and Tang’s. Thus, I reach the top of the same mountain as well. Having done that, I consider some objections to the account I propose and some consequences of it.

The Centre for Logic and Language hosts a regular seminar series - the Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics Forum (LEM). The forum generally meets fortnightly in term time.


Corine Besson
020 7862 8833