Toward a Synthesis of Reliabilism and Evidentialism

Comesaña suggests following Conee and Feldman(2004) in opting for a“mentalist” construal of our evidence, according to whichour evidence ultimately consists in various mental states. For thosewho find this approach promising, there remains the difficult questionof which mental states constitute a subject’sevidence. (Are they conscious experiences? States that are accessibleto consciousness? Beliefs?) A fully worked out hybrid of reliabilismand evidentialism would hopefully include answers to thesequestions.

16 Toward a Synthesis of Reliabilism and Evidentialism
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Juan Comesaña (2010) suggests that a hybrid of reliabilismand evidentialism along the following lines can help evade some of theproblems facing traditional reliabilism:


Toward a Synthesis of Reliabilism and Evidentialism?: …

Toward a synthesis of reliabilism and evidentialism
Photo provided by Flickr

Process reliabilism and evidentialism have long been viewed ascompetitors, even antitheses of one another, with one of them(reliabilism) being a paradigm of externalism and the other(evidentialism) a paradigm of internalism. However, JuanComesaña (2010) and Alvin Goldman (2011), both reliabilists,have toyed with the prospect of combining the best features of eachtheory to form a new theory that evades earlier problems. From theperspective of this entry, the chief question is whether such anaccommodation helps reliabilism with some of its problems while notabandoning its essential features.