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11-Sep-2017 20:58

Reliabilism encompasses a broad range of epistemological theories that try to explain knowledge or justification in terms of the truth-conduciveness of the process by which an agent forms a true belief.Process reliabilism is the most common type of reliabilism.The simplest form of process reliabilism regarding knowledge of some proposition is formed by a reliable process.A truth-conducive or reliable process is sometimes described as a belief-forming process that produces either mostly true beliefs or a high ratio of true to false beliefs.Although the fake barn example does not fit the precise mold of Gettier's cases, it is nonetheless a case of epistemic luck, whose common feature is that the agent has a true belief that could easily have been false—the link between belief and truth is too weak to constitute knowledge.To shore up that link, Goldman (1976) introduced his discrimination account of perceptual knowledge.Does Henry know that the ostended object is a barn?On Goldman’s causal theory, the answer is "yes," since perception of the actual barn causes Henry to believe that it is a barn. He could very easily have pointed to a façade and formed the false belief that is a barn, and therefore Henry does not know that the object he pointed to is a barn.

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A crucial development occurred when Edmund Gettier (1963) demonstrated that even justified true belief is insufficient for knowledge.That is, the agent’s true belief is infected by knowledge-precluding "epistemic luck.It is difficult to say just how much Gettier’s paper motivated reliabilist accounts of justification and knowledge, especially since, as discussed below, process reliabilism regarding justification is somewhat detached from concerns about epistemic luck.Rather, Smith believes what he does because he has evidence that Jones owns a Ford.

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