Internalism Exposed

Alvin Goldman

in Knowledge, Truth, and Duty

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195128925
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833764 | DOI:
Internalism Exposed

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Goldman sets forth a penetrating critique of internalism: the view that what makes beliefs justified or unjustified must be internal to the subject, where internality is typically defined in terms of a suitably strong accessibility relation. First, Goldman argues that internalism – as derived from what Goldman calls the “guidance‐deontological” conception of justification – presents its defenders with a dilemma: the needed accessibility will either be too weak to identify reliabilism as an externalist theory, or so strong that it will be difficult to derive it from the guidance‐deontology. Second, Goldman argues that internalism breeds skepticism, as can be seen when we consider its implications with regard to forgotten evidence, probabilistic relations, epistemic principles, and the availability of methods. In the last section, Goldman questions the a priori methodology that is associated with internalism.

Keywords: accessibility; epistemic principles; externalism; forgotten evidence; internalism; justification; methodology of epistemology; methods; probability; reliabilism

Chapter.  9885 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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