Chapter

An Internalist Theory of Normative Grounds

Robert Audi

in Rational Belief

Published in print September 2015 | ISBN: 9780190221843
Published online August 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190221867 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190221843.003.0008
An Internalist Theory of Normative Grounds

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This chapter sketches the grounds for (above all) justification and argues that these are internal because their basic deliverances are in principle accessible to reflection or introspection. Having a visual experience as of print, e.g. is possible even if you are hallucinating. Must it be different in the practical case, say with grounds of justification for believing one has a moral obligation? And what of our normative basis for action: if beliefs and desires are crucial bases of rational action, do we not have internal access to them and to the grounds of their rationality? For instance, pain and pleasure are crucial grounds for the rationality of desire, and they are internally accessible in much the way visual impressions are. The epistemological internalism defended, however, comprehensive as it is in applying to both theoretical and practical reason, does not extend to knowledge, which is regarded as amenable to externalist analysis.

Keywords: experience; external; grounds; internal; normativity; rationality; reflection

Chapter.  13845 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics ; Philosophy

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