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Warrant: The Current Debate$
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Alvin Plantinga

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780195078626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195078624.001.0001

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(p.182) 9 Reliabilism
Warrant: The Current Debate

Alvin Plantinga (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

As I use the term, externalism is the complement of internalism; the externalist denies that in order for one of my beliefs to have warrant for me, I must have some sort of special or privileged access to the fact that I have warrant, or to its ground. Recent epistemology has seen a flurry of interest in reliabilism, a particular species of externalism, and in this chapter, I examine three externalist and reliabilist accounts of warrant: those offered or suggested by William Alston, Fred Dretske, and Alvin Goldman. After introducing the notion of Alstonian justification, I point out that Alstonian justification is neither necessary nor sufficient for warrant (largely due to the possibility of cognitive malfunction). I then briefly outline Dretske's account of knowledge, Goldman's earlier version of reliabilism, and (giving a somewhat more lengthy treatment) Goldman's later version of reliabilism. I conclude that the views of both Dretske and Goldman suffer because they fail to pay explicit attention to the notion of the proper function of our cognitive equipment.

Keywords:   Alston, Dretske, externalism, Goldman, internalism, justification, proper function, reliabilism, warrant

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