more from Alvin Plantinga

Single Idea 6356

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 3. Reliabilism / a. Reliable knowledge]

Full Idea

A modified version of reliabilism proposes that a belief is justified in case it is the product of a process that is working according to its 'proper function' in the environment for which it is appropriate.

Gist of Idea

Maybe a reliable justification must come from a process working with its 'proper function'


report of Alvin Plantinga (Warrant and Proper Function [1993]) by J Pollock / J Cruz - Contemporary theories of Knowledge (2nd) 1.5.4

Book Reference

Pollock,J.L./Cruz,J: 'Contemporary Theories of Knowledge (2nd)' [Rowman and Littlefield 1999], p.26

A Reaction

Something might infallibly indicate something without that being its proper function (e.g. 'Red sky at night/ Shepherds' delight'). An inaccurate clock is fulfilling its proper function (telling the time), but not very well.