Philosophical Studies

, Volume 176, Issue 8, pp 2203–2220 | Cite as

Does reliabilism have a temporality problem?

  • Jeffrey TollyEmail author


Matthew Frise claims that reliabilist theories of justification have a temporality problem—the problem of providing a principled account of the temporal parameters of a process’s performance that determine whether that process is reliable at a given time. Frise considers a representative sample of principled temporal parameters and argues that there are serious problems with all of them. He concludes that the prospects for solving the temporality problem are bleak. Importantly, Frise argues that the temporality problem constitutes a new reason to reject reliabilism. On this point, I argue that Frise is mistaken. There are serious interpretive difficulties with Frise’s argument. In this essay, I show that there are principled and reasonable temporal parameters for the reliabilist to adopt that successfully undermine the interpretations of Frise’s argument that only invoke plausible premises. There are interpretations of Frise’s argument that leave reliabilism without a clear parameter solution. However, I argue that these interpretations invoke controversial premises that are at best unmotivated, and at worst they merely re-raise older disputes about reliabilism. In any event, the temporality problem fails to constitute a new reason to reject reliabilism.


Process reliabilism Justification Reliability problem Generality problem Alvin Goldman Temporality problem 



Funding was provided by University of Notre Dame.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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