The justification of memory beliefs: Evidentialism, reliabilism, conservatism

Matthew McGrath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter follows Conee and Feldman in assuming the traditional conception of the mental. Thus, the author takes it that mentalistic evidentialism is inconsistent with process reliabilism. It examines Goldman's critique of evidentialism's account of the justification of memory beliefs and discusses a problem for Goldman's own reliabilist account of memory beliefs. The chapter distinguishes two sorts of epistemic status at issue and not usually clearly separated in these debates, historical justification vs. justification to retain a belief. It raises doubts about the resources of reliabilism for explaining justification to retain beliefs; and makes a plea for a less ambitious account of justification to retain beliefs, a restricted form of epistemic conservatism. The chapter argues that the conservative account that the author recommend represents a kind of neutral baseline, insofar as there are both reliabilist-friendly as well as evidentialist-friendly arguments for it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGoldman and His Critics
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781118609378
ISBN (Print)9780470673676
StatePublished - Aug 19 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Epistemic conservatism
  • Evidentialism
  • Goldman's critique
  • Justification
  • Memory beliefs
  • Reliabilism


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