Research Article

Puzzles for Recursive Reliabilism

Shun Iizuka [PDF]

Article information
Vol 2, No 1
RAP0014 – Research Article
Recieved: January 25, 2022
Accepted: July 11, 2022
Online Published: August 3, 2022
DOI: 10.18494/SAM.RAP.2022.0014
Cite this article
Iizuka, S. (2022). Puzzles for Recursive Reliabilism. The Review of Analytic Philosophy, 2(1), 55-73. Japan: MYU.


The recursive aspect of process reliabilism has rarely been examined. The regress puzzle, which illustrates infinite regress arising from the combination of the recursive structure and the no-defeater condition incorporated into it, is a valuable exception. However, this puzzle can be dealt with in the framework of process reliabilism by reconsidering the relationship between the recursion and the no-defeater condition based on the distinction between prima facie and ultima facie justification. Thus, the regress puzzle is not a basis for abandoning process reliabilism. A genuinely intractable problem for recursive reliabilism lies in the gap between the reliability of the entire path to a belief and that of its parts. Confronted with this puzzle, reliabilists can orient themselves toward ‘reliable-as-a-whole reliabilism’ instead of ‘reliable-in-every-part reliabilism’, including recursive reliabilism, which is found to be not well-motivated.


Process reliabilism, Defeaters, Infinite regress, Recursive definition


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