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Strong and Weak Justification Author(s): Alvin I. Goldman Reviewed work(s): Source: Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 2, Epistemology (1988), pp. 51-69 Published by: Ridgeview Publishing Company Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2214068 . Accessed: 04/01/2012 21:08
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1988 Philosophical Perspectives, Epistemology, 2,
STRONG AND WEAK JUSTIFICATION*
Alvin 1. Goldman of University Arizona
in to Itiscommon recent epistemologydistinguish different senses, orconceptions, epistemic of justification. proposed The oppositions include the objective/subjective,internalist/externalist, regulative/nonregulative, resource-relative/resource-independent, and of personal/verific, deontological/evaluative conceptions In justification.'someofthese cases,writers regard bothmembers in ofthecontrasting as legitimate;other one pair casesonly member. In this to another paperI want propose contrasting ofconceppair of and tions justification, hold both defensible legitimate. that are and a The contrast thenbe usedto construct modified will version of naturalreliabilism, which one handles certain problem casesmore of ly thanmyprevious versions reliabilism. I I should ofmultiplying the begin acknowledging undesirability by for sensesof any term beyond necessity. Lacking good evidence of a should be multivocalitya target analysandum,unified analysis sought. sometimes But thereis indeedgood evidenceformultifor Hereis a case in point theterm vocality. 'justified'. a of Consider scientifically or benighted culture, ancient medieval This methods for vintage. culture employs certain highly unreliable about future theunobserved. the and Their methods forming beliefs of to and appeal to thedoctrine signatures, astrology, to oracles.
52 / Alvin Goldman I. or of theory of havenever thought probability Members theculture that of neverdreamt anything couldbe classedas 'exstatistics, a occasion that a particular on Now method'.2 suppose perimental a abouttheoutcome an imof forms belief of culture member this say, one oftheaforementioned methods, battle using by pending Call fashion. in approved zodiacalsigns a culturally by consulting or belief M. justified, warranted? thismethod Is thisperson's in a directions. There a tension,tug opposite Onefeels here definite is or belief notjustified warto temptation say,no,this is a strong to one a perspective feelsinclined say, Yet ranted. from different is yes,thebelief justified. It answeris easilyexplained. is of The attraction the negative by a as only natural regard belief justified ifitis generated propto M methods. method certainly But looksimproper er,or adequate, in can way. This andinadequate. point be reinforced thefollowing have widely supposed-and I concur-thata Epistemologists is belief. condition having for justified knowledge having necessary has as But the beliefunderconsideration no chanceto qualify it is wholly basedon zodiacalsigns. Evenif assuming knowledge, is 'Gettierized' the about to evenifthere nothing ithappens be true, with the be cannot credited knowing (beforehand) case,thebeliever is his fails The of explanation that belief outcome thebattle. natural to be justified. a answer? This is felt then, someattraction toward positive Why, of He tostem from cultural the plight ourbeliever. is situated seems enEveryone inthis else ina certain environment. spatio-historical our has method Moreover, believer M. vironment and trusts uses and matters, lacks to his peerson many goodreasons trust cultural in While for their decisive reasons distrusting confidence astrology. a set same itis true that scientifically trained person, downin this cast doubton method our M, couldeasilyfind waysto culture, to is and believer notso trained, has no opportunity acquiresuch in flaws M.Thus, It his scopeto find training.is beyond intellectual for him M, fault therefore believwecanhardly him using nor fault for in blameless, is ingwhathe does.The belief question epistemically to and that seemsto explain whywe are tempted call itjustified.3 Asthis ideas case illustrates, aretwodistinct orconceptions there is a belief of epistemic On justification. one conception, justified by formed sustained) prop(or a well-formed a belief belief, (roughly) On or or procedures, processes. er, suitable, adequatemethods,
Strong WeakJustification and / 53 a justified isa faultless, belief another conception, blameless, nonor belief. ourexample As the of culpable suggests, first theseconcepor is than tions stronger, more stringent, thesecond. requires It the to that belief be formed methods areactually by or proper adequate, whereasthe second conception makes no such requirement. I call the therefore thefirst conception strong conception theseand condtheweak.Eachofthese seemstomea legitimate conception. of somechunks intuition Eachcaptures involving term the 'justified' (in itsepistemic applications). the between and Granting distinction strong weakjustification, my nexttaskis to delineate moreprecisely conditions the attached to these respective Before to conceptions. turning this, however, me let distinction mention another relevant thetheory justified to of belief. In Epistemology Cognition and E a (hereinafter& C) I propose distinction betweenbelief-forming processesand belief-forming are 'Processes' basic psychological methods.4 processes, roughly, of wired-in features ournative architecture. 'Methods' are cognitive learnable or for algorithms, heuristics, procedures forming beliefs, that suchas procedures appealtoinstrument or readings, statistical All are analyses. beliefs formed We do partly processes. cannot by in anything thecognitive realm without using basicpsychological operations. Learned are methods, contrast, notuniversally by reof the beliefs probably are quired, although vastmajority an adult's to Now I propose, indebted suchmethods. fully must justified beliefs, if be formed adequate and by processes adequate methods,methods are usedat all. (Atleastthisis so for But strong justification.) itis to a of and possible form belief a combination adequate by process or of and inadequate method, bya combination inadequate process I two adequatemethod.therefore distinguish levelsofjustifiedness: primary justifiedness, correspondingthelevelofprocesses, to and to A secondary justifiedness, corresponding thelevelofmethods. of must for account justifiedness present conditions both complete oftheselevels. Thestrong/weak I have at distinction introduced enters eachlevel: of and of to thelevel processes thelevel methods. letmetry sketch So conditions strong weakjustification eachlevelseparately. of and for I beginwith levelofmethods. the
54 / AlvinI. Goldman
at requires use of the Strong justification the level of methods What makes method a or proper adeor proper adequatemethods. and appealing answeris a reliabilist answer: a quate?A natural or is i.e., method proper adequate incase itis reliable, leadsto just of a Thisanswer truth sufficiently percent thetime. meshes high withour intuitions about the scientifically benighted perfectly is justified precisely becausethe believer. belief notstrongly His zodiacalsigns nota reliable is of wayofgetting method consulting of abouttheoutcomes battles. truths a is or Whatexactly meant calling method process 'reliable' by I discussion. shalladdress thisissuein due course. needsfurther needs comment. reliability High may Another ofissue, sort however, for because evenhighly reliable not suffice method-level justifiedness thanother availablemethods. Some methods be less reliable may not for reliability condition, merely peoplemight argue a maximum I am condition. going setthis to matter aside. a satisficing reliability in are other to with this and paper, There enough questions be dealt afto wouldnotseriously reliability theproposed switch maximum I shallfocus. on fect other the epistemological topics which thatuse of a highly I reliable However, do notmeanto imply for orsecondary, Two justifiedness. method sufficientmethod-level, is it that other conditions necessary. are First, isnecessary themethod If a in fashion.a person adopts method havebeenacquired a suitable his to outoftheblue,and bychanceithappens be reliable, use of The that method does notconfer secondary justifiedness. method that methods, ultimately or processes, must acquired other be by or A further necessary condition are either reliable meta-reliable.5 ofsecondary at cognitive state, the justifiedness thebeliever's is that or time usesthemethod, he should undermine correctness, not the not of it adequacy, themethod. Veryroughly, should be thecase nor thatthe believer thinks thatthe method unreliable, is he is in the the as Of justified regarding method unreliable. course, latter condition should spelled innon-justificational something out be terms, I undertake in (sketchily) E & C butwillnotrepeathere.6 the condition Chisholm that expresses worry thereliable-method is tooeasy to satisfy.7 considers case ofa manwhocomes He the Now tobelieve there nine that are the by planets reading tea-leaves. at afternoon 2:17, that reading this tookplaceon a Friday suppose
Strong WeakJustification and / 55 that on occasion andsuppose nobody anyother consults tea-leaves of at aboutthenumber planets 2:17 on a Friday afternoon. Then, this a that saysChisholm, manfollowedmethod always leadstotruth, a method coulddescribe saying, find anything 'To one by out about the number planets, of at consult tea-leaves 2:17 on a Friday afternoon.' Notice, however, this notplausibly method manhas that is the the used. For a method be used, it mustbe represented the to in head not But cognizer's (though necessarily consciously). presumably neither dayoftheweeknor time daywaspart therecipe the the of of for belief formation themanrepresented hishead.Although that in we can introduce thosefeatures a description hisaction, into of it But doesn't follow they that of he wereparts themethod used.8 the method did use-consulting tea-leaves-is reliable. he the not a cognizer thesetemporal Admittedly, factors might incorporate a into method, sucha method and couldbe reliable leastinthe (at senseChisholm But reliable method would not specifies). useofthis for suffice secondary As the (method-level) justifiedness. indicated, believer must the in fashion. condiacquire method a suitable That tionis (apparently) metinChisholm's not If example. a newexaminwhich is met, it I ple wereconstructed then think cognizer's the belief be would, intuitively, justified. Theplausibilitythereliability of can approach be bolstered conby mainanalysandum of sidering degrees justifiedness. Although my a is thecategorical notion justified of on belief, brief digression the notion be instructive. of has comparative may Chisholm,course, rightCan the of status.9 such lystressed ideaofmultiple grades epistemic a notion captured be within I believe. reliabilism? Quitenaturally, Ceteris one is than paribus, belief better justified another belief just in case the methods processes) (or thatgenerate sustain) (or the former morereliable are thanthosethatgenerate latter. the A simple will this example illustrate idea.Suppose student one does a longaddition in columns from to bottom, problem adding by top thecanonical fashion. student This in arrives a belief theanswer. at A second student through sameprocedure, the the goes yielding same but answer, then'checks work'by doingit all overagain.Or her she the time proceeding bottomperhaps doestheproblem second by In up, or by usinga calculator. anyevent, uses a compound she method, which M2, contains first the method, as itsfirst M1, component. The compound method involves a formingbelief onlywhen
I. 56 / Alvin Goldman It to bothprocedures yieldthesameanswer. is plausible say that butthat secondhasa more the both students justified have beliefs, belief thanherclassmate. or The Why? justified, better justified, is: than Indeed, M1. answer method is morereliable the natural M2 in seemsto correspond difference degreeofjustifiedness precisely inreliability methods.the If compound ofthe method tothe difference onreliability, ityields, then intuitively, hasonly marginally greater If the compound method has ly marginally greater justifiedness. is substantially increasjustifiedness substantially greater reliability, the isthe ed.This reliability underlying ingredient supports ideathat in justifiedness. III but at Returning this from digression, staying thelevelofmethods, The of I turn now from to strong weakjustification. weak notion itwill is of or justification, be recalled, that blameless, non-culpable, We A belief, belief. must careful however. well-formed whose be here, is and is also method well-acquired non-undermined, presumably notion justifiedness blamelessness. of entails blameless. thestrong So ButI want notions strong weakjustificationbe opposthe of and to that that weaknotion justification inthe of ingnotions. means This but that terests is notprecisely ofblamelessness, thenarrower me is of That notion mereblamelessness. is,theweaknotion that illof formed-but-blameless belief. for someconditions weakly With point this let clarified, mepropose I belief thelevelofmethods). Moreprecisely,shalltry justified (at not for toprovide some conditions weakjustifiedness, only sufficient in conditions. belief p is weakly S's justified thesecon(at necessary M is is the darylevel)if(1) themethod by which belief produced unreliable notsufficiently but reliable), (2) S does notbelieve (i.e., and nor that is unreliable, (3) S neither M possesses, has available to him/her,reliable a that (By way oftelling M is unreliable. this I mean S hasneither which, that reliable method reliable nor process ifapplied his/her state, would leadS tobelieve to present cognitive M It that condition should that is unreliable.) is plausible a further to also be added,viz.,(4) there no process method believes or S is if that lead be reliable which, used, would S tobelieve Misunreliable. our The proposed conditions seemto capture case ofthescien-
/ 57 and Strong WeakJustification in belief theoutcome Thatcognizer's cognizer. benighted tifically by i.e., battleis in factill-formed, formed an of the impending is method. But he does not believethathis method unreliable in (or method process) his is there no reliable Moreover, unreliable. that to lead him believe or that to possession, available him, would there no method is Finally, method unreliable. is hisastrology-based thatwouldlead himto this or processhe believesto be reliable judgment. admittedly, does of cognizer depend, Ourjudgment thebenighted of abouttheaccuracy whathe knows, hasbeentold, or on exactly If predictions.he battle especially predictions, pastastrology-based we were in is toldthat all suchcasesthepredictions falsified, would is method defensible. that useoftheastrology-based his deny surely which can of a process induction, After he does possess native all, he to be applied suchdata!Butletthecase be oneinwhich receives Some outcomes. of reports battle few relatively well-substantiated would dictate. as corroborate prior the predictions,chance ofthese the the Where outcomes go reportedly against predictions, communhad that predictions beenbased the explain experts ity's astrology for havetechniques The on misapplicationsthemethod. experts of and sophisticated their from 'protecting' theory easyfalsification,only the woulddemonstrate intheories or methodologies astronomical but (Needless of defensibilitysuchtactics; theseare notavailable. does not of cognizer example a benighted to say,ifthis particular to makethesamepoint might other examples suit fully thereader, be readily constructed). the that of the Clearly, truth thecontention no wayofdetecting or to ispossessed available a cognizer method's unreliability target and are howtheterms 'possessed' 'available' on depends exactly that scienfor Itmight argued, instance, sophisticated be understood. to evenwhen in 'available' people, is methodologyalways fact tific The of culture. notinuse bymembers their is sucha methodology and of is I suggest, thatthenotions availability response, proper of Theyare opento a number are possession vagueand variable. in and plausible pertinent at least each interpretations, reasonably somecontexts. in has of or The vagueness variability 'possession' beenstressed I Richard with Feldman'0; also connection evidence by possession or 'possessing', 'havit mention a bitinE & C." Atone extreme, thinktime mean consciously at a ing', pieceofevidence a given could
I. 58 / Alvin Goldman it that extreme, couldmeanhaving ingofthat evidence. another At inmemory, however difficult be itmay somewhere evidence stored An view or toretrieve accesstheitem. intermediate wouldbe that in if is only itis either consciousness a pieceofevidence 'possessed' or easilyaccessible from memory. But 'available'. herethere Similar ambiguities for term arise the inthe headbut different locaarenot different locations only possible in thesocialworld. a pieceof Is tions degrees accessibility and of or how it 'available' matter difficultcostly would no evidence socially in neither thecase be tofind There noclear-cut it? answers here, are nor which whatdirectly is conofevidence inthecase ofmethods, use stancerns here.Different me speakers (andlisteners) varying on So and dards, depending context intention. itis besttoleavethe in of natural, vaguestate, and notions possession availability their It of to artificial precision. follows, course, rather thantry provide But of inherits vagueness. there this that notion weakjustification the justification of that concepts, including isplenty evidence epistemic under However, very andknowledge, this have kind vagueness.'2 of is used standards, processor method no natural and commonly for or to that cognizer telling his possessed available ourbenighted his method Hence, batastrolbgy-based battle-predicting isunreliable. method weakly are tlepredictions onthat based justified. prob(This I shalllater constraint as one moderate ablyfollows wellfrom very on impose 'availability'). IV nowtoprimary at justifiedness: justifiednessthelevel Letmeturn I shalladoptthesimple In format for ofprocesses. thistreatment Belief?"'3, that presenting reliabilism I used in "WhatIs Justified of format processbut rather thanthepreferable moreunwieldy in I found E & C. However, shalllateropt rule permitting systems format. for preferable the rule-system of at level The proposed account strong justificationtheprimary at level.A belief perof the closely parallels account thesecondary at sonS is strongly level justified theprimary ifand onlyif(1) itis reliable cognitive process, by produced sustained) a sufficiently (or is is the and(2) that producing by process reliable notundermined S's cognitive state.
/ 59 and Strong WeakJustification for level atthe Theproposed conditions weakjustification primary those thesecondary at level. belief weakly S's is justified alsoparallel the at theprimary levelif(1) thecognitive process thatproduces is but that belief unreliable, (2)S doesnotbelieve theproducing procnor and possesses, has availableto ess is unreliable, (3) S neither is Finalthat him/her, a reliable oftelling theprocess unreliable. way further condition be appropriate: there no process is may (4) ly,a if to which, used,wouldlead S to or method believes be reliable S Onceagain, of is interpretation believe that process unreliable. the is I to theterms and 'possession' 'available' subject variation.shall As interpretation to these vagueterms. innottry givea unique to constraint I shall shortly impose plausible one dicated earlier, though, on availability.
of now I want turn to interest, immediately toan example central in demonworld. Focuson the thecase ofa cognizer a Cartesian or of Thesebeliefs regularly are beliefs sucha cognizer. perceptual processes are invariably butthey causedbythesameinternal false, In beliefs. theCartesian demonworld, thatcause our perceptual that there are (I however, those processes unreliable. assume either in world that or using thoseprocesses that is justa lone cognizer to those insufficientthedemon fools people render processes enough accountof strong Then according the proposed to ly reliable.) beliefs notjustified. are justifiedness, cognizer's the of for because Thissort case is an ostensible problem reliabilism, in world to a there a strong is temptationsaythat cognizer a demon of does havejustified The beliefs. course hisexperience, perceptual of from after may indistinguishable thecourse your be experience all, in or mine, we are presumably our and justified holding perceptual as beliefs. shouldn't beliefs justified well?'4 So his be of the Underthe present theory treatment the demoncase is The of straightforward. victim the demonfailsto have strongly his While but beliefs. justified justified beliefs, he does haveweakly His beliefs notwell-formed, areblameless non-culpable. and they are but are (in cognitive processes notreliable hisworld), (A) he does notbelievethat wayof (B) they unreliable, he has no reliable are to is or he telling and (C) there no method process believes be this,
60 / Alvin Goldman I. reliable which wouldlead himto thisconclusion. on theweak So of are conception justifiedness, resulting the beliefs justified. Is itreally true that demon the victim no reliable has wayoftellingthat perceptual his processes unreliable? are What seemsfairly clearis thatnone of his cognitive we deem processes normally reliable wouldlead himto theconclusion hisperceptual that proofpastpercepcessesareunreliable. if Surely he useshismemories tualbeliefs, of memories subsequent of 'validations' these further by perceptual checks, then and makes standard a inductive generalizaare tion,he willconclude thathis perceptual processes reliable. However, might contended a reliable it be that method available is to himthatwould yieldthe conclusion thathis processes are unreliable. is the'single-output' This method wouldhave him that start with antecedent his corpus beliefs produce concluof and the Thissingle-output sion,'Myperceptual processes unreliable'. are method reliable is sincetheone belief produces true! it is I maketworeplies this to proposal. First, callthis a 'method' to is is surely trivialize notion a method.admit, to the of I though, I that haveno convenient ofrestricting way methods would that rulethis out.(Perhaps single-output all should excluded; I am but formulas be of in unsure this.) evenifwe persist calling a 'method', this However, is in there little that plausibility saying itis availableto thedemon should be construed mere not victim. as conAvailability in-principle It and at be that structibilityusability.must least required thecognizer be couldnaturally led to thatmethod someprocesses and/or by methods already he on beliefs exand employs, operating hisactual But case. All hisantecedent periences. thatis falsein thepresent and run the of beliefs, processes, methods against acceptance this 'method'. there no relevant So is senseinsaying single-output that is this method possessed or available thiscognizer. by, to, Hence, hisperceptual beliefs indeedweakly are justified.
this of Itis clearthat version reliabilism accommodates intuithe tion thedemon victim justified has that beliefs-at leaston one conof What does version toother bear ception justification. relation this In of versions reliabilism?E & C a reliabilist is theory proposed that the case handles demon-world rather That is differently. theory for-
Strong WeakJustification and / 61 in of of mulated terms right systems process-permitting A belief rules. qualifies justified theprocess as (at level)justincase itis produced withsome right thatconform by processes rulesystem. non(A is undermining proviso also included.) rulesystem right in A is just case itis reliable, compliance that with rulesystem i.e., wouldprowith sufficiently truth duce beliefs a ratio. high Theseformulations notresolve questions interpretation do of all aboutthetheory. we Suppose askwhether belief insomepossia B, ble world is justified. answer The on W, depends whether prothe cessesthat cause B inW are permitted a right system. rule But by is therightness a rulesystem function thesystem's of a of reliability in W?Or is it fixed someother in way? InE & C15 suggest rightness rulesystems rigid. given that I of is A rule is system either right allpossible in or worlds wrong allpossiin it ble worlds; does notvaryacrossworlds. Furthermore, rightness is notdetermined thesystem's in by for reliability theactualworld, but in example, rather itsreliability whatI callnormal worlds. by A very special senseof'normal worlds' delineated. normal is A world is understood a world as consistent ourgeneral with beliefs about the actualworld, beliefs aboutthe sortsof objects, events, and thatoccurin theactualworld. changes The upshot thistheory of is that appraisal a demon the of victim's beliefs doesnotdepend on whether perceptual his belief-forming processes reliable the are in demon but world, on whether in they reliable normal are worlds. Sincethey are reliable normal in presumably eventhis vicworlds, tim's beliefs as to qualify justified according thetheory. Moreover, even ifitshould turn that actualworld a demon out the is world, andourownbeliefs systematically are these would illusory, beliefs (orcould)still justified. longas theprocesses reliable be As in are normal in worlds-which this scenario does notinclude actual the will world-these beliefs be justified. The normal-worlds of version reliabilism thevirtue saving has of intuitions justification indemon about world cases.Italso hasother It attractions.seemsto me natural expectthat to should reliability be assessed normal in situations worlds) (or rather than possible all situations. When saysofa carthat isvery one it one reliable, doesn't imply itwillstart runsmoothly all weather that and in conditions; notat - 50 degrees for Fahrenheit, example. One only implies that itwill in start normal conditions.'6 this However, senseof'normalcy' probably refers typical to situations. doesn't It imply anything like
62 / Alvin Goldman I. senseof'normalcy'. Whatmight mydoxastic rationalize doxthe asticsense?In writing and I Epistemology Cognition,had planned on I a chapter concepts. One thesis planned defend that to is our are concepts constructed against certain background assumptions, of comprised whatwe believeaboutwhattypically happens the in I actualworld. expected approach concepts underpin this to to the of doxastic-normalcy conception reliability. I did Unfortunately, not manageto workoutsuchan approach detail. in In anycase,there a number problems are of the facing account ofjustification focuses normal that on worlds (construed doxastically).First, which general beliefs abouttheactualworld relevant are in fixing normal worlds? Thereseem to be too manychoices. Second,whichever generalbeliefsare selected,it looks as if different worlds dramatically might conform thesebeliefs. to Does a rulesystem count right as truth ratioin all onlyifit has a high whenthetheory that those worlds?'7 normal worlds are Third, says fixed thegeneral beliefs haveabouttheactualworld, we by what in is thereferent 'we'?'8Is iteveryone theactualworld, the of i.e., wholehuman race?Different members the human of race have How beliefs. arethepertinent dramatically divergent general general to beliefs be extracted?'9 even couldbe resolved, isn't it Finally, ifthese problems clearthat Consider possible thenormal-worlds a approach getsthings right. non-normal world significantly different ours.InW people from W, form that truth-ratio commonly beliefs a process hasa very by high inW,but would havea high not truth-ratio innormal worlds. Couldn't thebeliefs in formed theprocess W qualify justified?20 as by To be concrete, theprocess that forming let be of in beliefs accord with of feelings clairvoyance. a process Such presumably not does truth intheactual havea high ratio nor it world; would havea high truth ratio normal in worlds. suppose contains But W clairvoyance waves, to or of analogous sound light waves.Bymeans clairvoyance of wavespeopleinW accurately detect features their environment of and justas we detect features ourenvironment light sound. by the of Surely, clairvoyance belief-forming processes peopleinworld W can yieldjustified beliefs. Foralltheforegoing it reasons, seems wisetoabandon normalthe worldsversionof reliabilism. Fortunately, does not leave this reliabilism of incapable meeting demon-world the problem. presThe entversion reliabilism of that accommodates intuition demonthe
and Strong WeakJustification / 63 world believers justified have beliefs granting they by that haveweakbeliefs. ly justified Ifthenormal-worlds ofrightnessabandoned, interpretation is what should putinitsplace(intheaccount strong be of justification)? As the foregoing it examplesuggests, is probably unwiseto rigidify rightness; better letitvary to from world world. to Perhaps best the interpretation most is the straightforward a rulesystem right one: is in in W justin case it has a high truth-ratioW. Thereare reasons, cannot content rest however, reliabilism why with interpretation. mention this I shall them briefly I althoughcannotfully address issues the raise. they First, somerulesystem might in be usedrather sparsely a given world, theactualworld. say Its in world be performance that therefore regarded a poor as might indication itstrue of colors: either favorable toounfavorable. too or it Forthisreason, seemsadvisable assessitsrightness W not to in in in simply itsperformanceW,butbyitsperformance a setof by worlds closetoW. In other very words, should interested we be in of in theprobability a rule-system truths thepropensity, or yielding modalfrequency, ofprobability.21 interpretation A similar ismandated a related conclusion by consideration. There aremany different possible waysofcomplying orinstantiating, with, a given system. Evenifwe taketheoutside rule environmentfixas in be but ed, somerulesmight usedfrequently one scenario infrein quently another. the are (Remember, rules permission rules; they do notsaywhatprocesses must used,or when.) be Thesedifferent or wouldpresumably difscenarios, compliance profiles, generate truth The ofcompliance is ferent ratios. multiplicity profiles noted that in inE & C,22 whereitis acknowledged newrefinementsthe reliability theory needed. are Several plausible developments readilysuggest themselves. one might First, that require all compliance should profiles, thelowest, even a generate specified, tolerably high, truth ratio. one one Alternatively, might weaker propose oranother the or requirement, that meancompliance e.g., profile, themodal profile thestatistical (in sense), should havea certain truth ratio. high I theseideasfurther, are in thespirit all Althoughwon'texamine ofreliabilism. is E& Another technical problem worth mentioning. C formulates in reliabilism terms rulesystems of becausemany single processes would havedeterminate ratios. not truth Consider inference an procfor it Whether yields trueor ess,or a memory process, example.
I. 64 / Alvin Goldman false beliefs depends thetruth on valuesoftheprior beliefs which of it takesas inputs. Thus,onlyan entire system processes, a or system process-permitting holdsthe prospect having of rules, of truth ratios. a now If associated However, problem arises. youstart with givensystem, thathas a veryhigh a R, truth ratio, adding a rule not unreliable might reducethetruth ratio single verymuch. R from byadding sucha rule, still So R*,obtained might pass the reliability ButifR*contains poorrule, don't test. a we want count to Let free it as right. us call thistheepistemic rider problem. I propose following the solution. isnotenough a rule It that system itself a sufficiently truth (inwhatever have high ratio fashion gets this It spelled orrefined).must be required noneofits out also that subsets should havean insufficiently truth high ratio. Sincetheunit of set of this a member isa subset therule disbars rule system, requirement rulesystems with anyindividually unreliable rules.
of Letmeleavethese detailed points aboutthestrong conception In and a aboutitsgeneral contours.23 justifiedness, consider worry on character reliabilism, of let particular, mefocus the'world-bound' in ofstrong as itemerges thepresent formulation Since justifiedness. world of is therightness a rulesystem nowallowedto varyfrom to world, one world even from experientially indistinguishable to it another, looksas ifthere an element luckinwhether belief is of a is strongly justified not.Ifwe are in theworld think are or we we If in,ourperceptual beliefs (inthemain) are strongly justified. we on areina demon world, theother hand, perceptual our beliefs are notstrongly injustified. thesetwoworlds experientially But are So of or distinguishable.itseemsto be a matter luckwhether not our beliefsare strongly justified. can invidious But epistemic rest judgments properly on luck? in Note that isa generally first luck acknowledged component other Justification does epistemic achievements, specifically knowledge. notlogically it imply truth, evenifone hasa justified so belief is still a matter luckwhether getstruth, hencea matter luck of and of one whether one attainsknowledge. similar A moralfollows from Gettier worlds examples. Peopleinexperientially indistinguishable in might differ their knowledge attainments because their true
Strong WeakJustification and / 65 justified beliefs Gettierizedoneoftheworlds nottheother. are in but in Sinceluckis a component knowledge, should be shocking it why it to find in justifiedness? Thecritic might retort while isconscionable letluck that it to figure inknowledge, unconscionableletitfigure justification, itis in to which notion. I reply, is an evaluative But, should luckbe excluded from evaluative contexts? Several writers havepointed that seems out it Two to enterintomoraland legal evaluation.24 equallyreckless truck one strikes child a and one whodoes drivers, whounluckily not, mayincur different of amounts disapprobation punishment. and be A similar different about vein pointmight made in a slightly aesthetic evaluation. can evaluate painter's We a artistic even feats whileadmitting thesefeats partly to luck:theluckof that are due natural talent thegood fortune excellent and of training. Butshouldn't there somestyle justificational of be evaluation that or eliminates minimizes This luck? seems It what plausible. isprecisely with concept weak justification. thepresent of is captured the So also theory makesroomforanti-luck cravings.
of Does my duplex theory justification to amount an acknowledgement that internalismpartly is correct? ita partial Is abandonment I find hardto answer ofexternalism? this becausetheterms 'interand do definitions. nalism' 'externalism' nothavegenerally accepted in Internalism be theviewthat whether arejustifiedbelievmight you is to ing a proposition directly accessible you from internal the or If reflection.thisis howinternalism perspective, by immediate it isdefined, of though,isnotclear theweakconception justificathat tion a brand internalism. of is a Whether possess wayoftelling, you or haveavailablea wayoftelling, certain that belief-forming proor cessesare reliable unreliable notbe something acmay directly to I also doubt cessible youby immediate reflection. whether the weakconception justification of wouldfully appealto internalists. Mostinternalists, I suspect, wouldlikea moredemanding conceptionofjustification. So I do not know the whether duplex of amounts theory justification to a marriage externalism internalism. of I have no objection and tothis if indeed whatitis.Theimportant is that is union, that point
I. 66 / Alvin Goldman belief does so in a and aboutjustified intuitions many it captures reliabilist framework. broadly
Notes * Thispaperwas readat the 1986NEHSummer on Institute theTheory in of Chisholm Brown at and ofKnowledge at a conference honor Roderick from comments bothoccasions. on It University.has benefitted audience and inPollock (1979)and senses distinguished are 1. Objective subjective 'real'and'apparent' justificaGoldman the using terms the (1986), latter by and conceptions discussed Armstrong are tion. Externalist internalist (1986). The (1980,1985), Alston and (1973), Goldman (1980), BonJour by (1983), and options discussed Kornblith are regulative non-regulative and Goldman(1980, 1986),and Pollock(1986). Resource-relative inGoldman (1986). conceptions distinguished are resource-independent Alston (1985) the and conceptions. Lehrer (1981) presents personal verific and (amongmany conceptions delineates deontological evaluative others). isolation'. example 'cultural of 2. Alston (1985)has a similar 3. Justifiedness as freedom from blameworthiness oftheconcepis one of (1985). related A conception justifiedness tions discussed Alston by by from irresponsibility is presented Kornblith as freedom (epistemic) (1985). (1983)and BonJour pp. 4. See Goldman (1986), 92-95. the (or 5. A process method meta-reliableroughly, methods proor is if, Thereare, to or are reliable. cesses)ittends produce preserve mostly of a of out ways however, variety alternative ofspelling thespirit this 374-377. idea. See Goldman 115-116, pp. (1986), 27, 52-53, 111-112. 6. See pp. 62-63, 7. Chisholm (1982), 29. p. or belief formed a Friday, in is on 8. Similarly, becausea perceptual just an environment rose-tinted thisdoes not meanthatthe with light, of ona has belief-formationFriday', cognizer used processes 'perceptual inrose-tinted Ingeneral, external or'perceptual belief-formation light'. in of circumstances as date, such time day, objects theenvironphysical conditionsobservation, arenot of etc. of cognitive parts a person's ment, as this processes. reasonfor is notquitethesame,however, the The are It becausethesefactors not reasonin thecase of methods. isn't in in head;processes mysenseare notthe represented thecognizer's in sorts things arerepresented that they of explicitly thehead.Rather,
Thisis what of system. are generaloperating characteristics thecognitive
or Many them internal features mechanisms. examples restricts topurely violate the ofprocess in on literature reliabilism types given thecritical in Planof casesdiscussed Alvin exclusion external factors, most e.g., of does Observance this exclusion notbyitself, tinga (1986), 10-11. pp. But ofcourse, reliabilism. exconfronting solvethe'generality problem' the of of is to clusion external conditions essential understanding kind
Strongand Weak Justification67 / is referent theterm that 'cognitive process' intended have. to 9. See Chisholm (1966,1977). 10. In Feldman (1986). 11. Goldman p. (1986), 204. of 12. Fora persuasive discussion one dimension contextual of vagueness, see Cohen(1986);also Sosa (1974)and Dretske (1980). 13. Goldman (1979). of has 14. This point beenemphasized a number writers, by including Pollock Cohen Lehrer Cohen and Ginet (1984), (1984), (1983), (1985), Foley (1985), and Luper-Foy (1985). 15. Page 107. 16. Thisexample due to Matthias is Steup. in 17. Thispoint was raised Alvin by Plantinga, correspondence. was Sosa ina lecture theNEHSummer at 18. Thispoint raised Ernest by of 1986. Institute theTheory Knowledge, on Boulder, Colorado, in the 19. Sosa also raised other citedin note18,but difficulties, lecture I won'ttry review them all. to 20. Thisgeneral point, thecoreoftheexample follows, dueto and that is in Stewart Cohen, correspondence. 21. See van Fraassen (1980), chap.6. 22. Chapter note23, p. 395. 5, 23. A different ofobjection kind should addressed well.I maintain be as reliable methods prothat and strong justification, involving generally for raises is But cesses, necessary knowledge. Richard Foley (1985, 195) p. It for to that thefollowing objection. ispossible someone know a demon as is has beendeceiving most peopleand himself well, no longer but know means hisperceptual of deceiving He canthen him. by processes, are reliable theseprocesses notgenerally even though (norusually reliable him).I grant for thata person sucha situation have in can be that would obtained it knowledge, I deny but purely perceptually. it be from Rather, would obtained inference theperson's by knowledge his to thatthedemonis currently allowing visualprocesses function how about properly reliably). (i.e., Foleydoes notspecify knowledge with thedemon's newpractice might obtained, itis compatible be but theimagined be that knowledge obtained reliable example this by prothe as From such about demon's cesses, reliabilism requires. knowledge newpractice, thefact it that nowlooksto theperson if, as say, plus there a javelina thebush(a belief is in acquired reliable by introspecis in the can infer there a javelina thebush. tion), cognizer reliably that as with helpofperceptual the Thus, Foleysays,knowledge acquired are is evenif these processes possible, processes notgenerally reliable; butthisdoes notcontravene reliabilism. 24. See Williams (1976)and Nagel(1979).
68 / Alvin I. Goldman References of The Justification," Monist, William (1985)."Concepts Epistemic Alston, 68: 57-89. and in William (1986)."Internalism Externalism Epistemology," Alston, 14: Topics, 179-221. Philosophical Truth Knowledge and Cambridge D.M. (Cambridge: Belief, Armstrong, (1973). Press). University of Knowledge," "Externalist Theories Empirical (1980). BonJour, Laurence in Studies T. and eds., in P. French, Uehling, H. Wettstein, Midwest of University in (Minneapolis: vol. Philosophy 5,Studies Epistemology Minnesota Press). (Cambridge, of Knowledge The (1985). StructureEmpirical Laurence BonJour, University Press]. Mass.:Harvard N. Cliffs, J.: of (Englewood Roderick (1966).Theory Knowledge Chisholm, 1966). Prentice-Hall, Cliffs, of 2nd Theory Knowledge, ed.(Englewood (1977). Roderick Chisholm, N. J.:Prentice-Hall). of (Minneapolis: (1982). The Foundations Knowing Roderick Chisholm, of Press). University Minnesota Studies, and Philosophical (1984)."Justification Truth," Cohen,Stewart 46: 279-295. Journal Philosophy, of and Stewart (1986)."Knowledge Context", Cohen, 83: 574-583. Dretske,Fred (1980). "The PragmaticDimensionof Knowledge", 40: Studies, 363-378. Philosophical read at the NEH Summer Evidence," Richard (1986)."Having Feldman, Colorado. of Boulder, on Institute theTheory Knowledge, The 68: with Reliabilism?" Monist, Richard Wrong (1985)."What's Foley, 188-202. 68: The Carl Reliabilism," Monist, 175-187. Ginet, (1985)."Contra in ed., Pappas, Is Belief?", George Alvin Goldman, (1979)."What Justified D. (Dordrecht: Reidel). and Justification Knowledge in of Alvin(1980)."The Internalist Conception Justification," Goldman, in Studies eds., P. French, Uehling, T. and H. Wettstein, Midwest of in University vol. (Minneapolis: Philosophy, 5,Studies Epistemology Minnesota Press). Mass.: and (Cambridge, Alvin(1986).Epistemology Cognition Goldman, Press). Harvard University Responsible and Epistemically Belief (1983)."Justified Kornblith, Hilary 92: Review, 33-48. Philosophical Action," Lehrer ed., in Keith (1981)."A SelfProfile," RaduBogdan, Keith Lehrer, D. (Dordrecht: Reidel). Truth, "Justification, andCoherence," (1983). Keith Cohen Lehrer, andStewart 55: Synthese, 191-207. Belief," Theoryof Rational Steven(1985). "The Reliabilist Luper-Foy, TheMonist 203-225. 68:
/ Strongand Weak Justification69 (Cambridge: Nagel,Thomas(1979)."MoralLuck,"in MortalQuestions Press). University Cambridge Justification," 20: 1-18. Nous, (1986)."Epistemic Plantinga, Alvin in of Theories," George (1979)."A Plethora Epistemological Pollock, John (Dordrecht: Reidel). D. and Pappas,ed.,Justification Knowledge and Journal of Belief," Canadian John (1984)."Reliability Justified Pollock, 14: Philosophy, 103-114. N. of Theories Knowledge (Totowa, J.: Contemporary John (1986). Pollock, & Rowman Littlefield). American "HowDo YouKnow?" Quarterly, Philosophical (1974). Sosa,Ernest 11: 113-122. Oxford University Bas Image(Oxford: VanFraassen, (1980).TheScientific Press). of Bernard Proceedings theAristotelian (1976)."MoralLuck," Williams, vol. supplementary 1. Society,
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