Scepticism and Reliable Belief

Scepticism and Reliable Belief

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Reliabilist accounts of knowledge are widely seen as having the resources for blocking sceptical arguments, since these arguments appear to rely on assumptions about the nature of knowledge that are rendered illegitimate by reliabilist accounts. In Scepticism and Reliable Belief Jose L. Zalabardo assesses the main arguments against the possibility of knowledge, and challenges their consensus. He articulates and defends a reliabilist theory of knowledge
that belongs firmly in the truth-tracking tradition. Zalabardo's main analytic tool in the account of knowledge he provides is the theory of probability: he analyses both truth tracking and evidence in these terms, and argues that this account of knowledge has the resources for blocking the main standard lines of
sceptical reasoning-including the regress argument, arguments based on sceptical hypotheses, and the problem of the criterion. But although Zalabardo's theory can be used to refute the standard lines of sceptical reasoning, there is a sceptical argument against which his account offers no defence, as it does not rely on any assumptions that he renders illegitimate. According to this argument, we might have considerable success in the enterprise of forming true beliefs: if this is so, we have
knowledge of the world. However, we cannot know that we are successful, even if we are. Beliefs to this effect cannot be knowledge on Zalabardo's reliabilist account, since these beliefs do not track the truth and we cannot obtain adequate evidence in their support. Zalabardo ends with the suggestion
that the problem might have a metaphysical solution: although the sceptical argument may make no illegitimate epistemological assumptions, it does rest on a questionable account of the nature of cognition.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 228 pages
  • 164 x 241 x 21mm | 518g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 019965607X
  • 9780199656073
  • 1,791,647

Table of contents

Preface ; 1. The problem of scepticism ; 2. Reliabilism and the evidential constraint ; 3. Knowledge and truth tracking ; 4. Evidence ; 5. Inferential knowledge ; 6. Knowledge without evidence ; 7. Sceptical arguments ; 8. Scepticism and realism ; Appendix ; References ; Index
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Review quote

Jose Zalabardo's new book is refreshing. In it he develops a sophisticated reliabilist account of knowledge... Scepticism and Reliable Belief is required reading for anyone interested in current thinking about reliabilism and scepticism. The book contains a wealth of resources that any reliabilist can utilise in dealing with standard problems ... it makes impressive progress. * Robert McKenna, Mind * This book presents a deep and detailed reliabilist account of knowledge that attempts to overcome the central sceptical arguments (the regress argument, arguments based on sceptical hypotheses and the problem of the criterion), which is worthwhile on its own * Tobies Grimaltos, Theoria * Zalabardos carefully articulated picture is an attractive one, which any epistemologist working on the nature of knowledge and the attendant problem about scepticism should take very seriously. I found the mixture of knowledge by truth-tracking and evidentially supported knowledge, where both are understood probabilistically, refreshing. The arguments that are brought to bear in support of this picture are throughout very clear and concise. The text is replete with
intriguing observations. In sum, this is an impressive and important book. * Jesper Kallestrup, Analysis * Scepticism and Reliable Belief is an important work in epistemology: it makes a strong push for a reliabilist response to skepticism, and it does so with fresh eyes and in a clear and thorough manner. Those of us who have an interest in finding an adequate response to skepticism will benefit from a close and careful examination of Zalabardo's book. * Tim Black, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Jose L. Zalabardo

Jose L. Zalabardo is a reader at the University College London Philosophy Department. He studied for his PhD at the University of Michigan, was a lecturer at the University of Birmingham from 1994 to 2000, and then joined UCL. He has published numerous articles in academic journals and collective volumes, and is the author of Introduction to the Theory of Logic (Westview Press, 2000), and editor of Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy (OUP, 2012).
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