In this paper, I delineate two major problems facing reliabilist approaches in epistemology. I argue that Alvin Goodman's (1986) position fails to solve either problem. I then suggest an alternative reliabilist approach that ties truth-ratio assessments to particular, well-specified cognitive tasks. I claim that a well-specified cognitive task is an empirical hypothesis about a system that involves the specification of input and output types and nomic correlations (including statistical correlations) that underlie the system's performance. On my approach, one characterizes processes by reference to the system's dispositions across the situations consistent with the task. Characterization is best understood as revealing a strategy or a set of strategies for generating outputs from inputs relying on certain nomic correlations associated with the task.
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Wallis, C. Truth-ratios, process, task, and knowledge. Synthese 98, 243–269 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01063943
- Cognitive Task
- Statistical Correlation
- Reliabilist Approach
- Output Type
- Alternative Reliabilist