Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Susan Feldman




This thesis concerns the conditions of ascribing knowledge. It draws insight from Goldman’s reliabilism, McDowell and Brandom’s critique on reliabilism, Nozick’s tracking account, contextualism, and a novel approved-list reliabilism approach to provide a reliabilist theory depicting how we perform knowledge attribution in our communities. The thesis views knowledge essentially as a product of belief-forming methods that are deemed reliable. It highlights the indispensability of both external and internal factors in assessing a subject’s knowledge status and how reliability is constantly evaluated by the members of a community. It defends this version of reliabilism against general objections to reliabilism such as the Clairvoyance Problem and the Generality Problem. Finally, it explores how our intuition of knowledge would vary when we encounter new belief-securing technologies.

Included in

Philosophy Commons