Internalism and Externalism

Laurence Bonjour

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195301700
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Internalism and Externalism

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This article suggests that the contemporary epistemological debate over internalism and externalism concerns the formulation of the justification or warrant condition in an account of knowledge. The internalist requires that for a belief to meet this condition all of the necessary elements must be cognitively accessible to the believer. The externalist, on the other hand, claims that at least some such elements do not need to be accessible to the believer. This article gives an overview of this dispute, beginning with internalism and then considering the main reasons offered by externalists for rejecting the more traditional epistemological approach. It investigates the externalist alternative by looking at the most popular version, reliabilism, and at the main objections that have been raised against reliabilism. This article suggests that the opposition between the two views is less straightforward than has usually been thought.

Keywords: internalism; externalism; justification; warrant condition; reliabilism

Article.  14342 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology

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