Chapter

Theories of Justification

John Heil

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195130058
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833481 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195130057.003.0011
Theories of Justification

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In “Mind and Knowledge,” John Heil notes that our knowledge of the world depends on our nature as knowers. He argues that the fact that it is unclear how we could convincingly establish, in a noncircular manner, that the world is as we think it is, suggests skepticism, and that realism and skepticism go hand in hand. Heil discusses the implications of such a view, particularly as they concern knowledge we seemingly have of our own states of mind. He considers the view that to calibrate ourselves as knowers we should proceed from resources “immediately available to the mind” to conclusions about the external world. He evaluates Descartes's attempt to do this, and examines two other possibilities: an externalist view of mental content and an internalist approach to content.

Keywords: Descartes; external world; externalism; John Heil; internalism; knower; mental content; mind; realism; skepticism

Chapter.  9991 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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