Title

Is there a well-founded solution to the generality problem?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2015

Abstract

The generality problem is perhaps the most notorious problem for process reliabilism. Several recent responses to the generality problem have claimed that the problem has been unfairly leveled against reliabilists. In particular, these responses have claimed that the generality problem is either (i) just as much of a problem for evidentialists, or (ii) if it is not, then a parallel solution is available to reliabilists. Along these lines, Juan Comesaña has recently proposed solution to the generality problem—well-founded reliabilism. According to Comesaña, the solution to the generality problem lies in solving the basing problem, such that any solution to the basing problem will give a solution to the generality problem. Comesaña utilizes Conee and Feldman’s evidentialist account of basing (Conee and Feldman’s well-foundedness principle) in forming his version of reliabilism. In this paper I show that Comesaña’s proposed solution to the generality problem is inadequate. Well-founded reliabilism both fails to solve the generality problem and subjects reliabilism to new damning verdicts. In addition, I show that evidentialism does not face any parallel problems, so the generality problem remains a reason to prefer evidentialism to reliabilism.

Publication Title

Philosophical Studies

Volume

172

Issue

2

First Page

459

Last Page

468

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1007/s11098-014-0312-1

ISSN

00318116

E-ISSN

15730883

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