Reliabilism and Brains in Vats

Acta Analytica 26 (3):257-272 (2011)
Abstract
According to epistemic internalism, the only facts that determine the justificational status of a belief are facts about the subject’s own mental states, like beliefs and experiences. Externalists instead hold that certain external facts, such as facts about the world or the reliability of a belief-producing mechanism, affect a belief’s justificational status. Some internalists argue that considerations about evil demon victims and brains in vats provide excellent reason to reject externalism: because these subjects are placed in epistemically unfavorable settings, externalism seems unable to account for the strong intuition that these subjects’ beliefs are nonetheless justified. I think these considerations do not at all help the internalist cause. I argue that by appealing to the anti-individualistic nature of perception, it can be shown that skeptical scenarios provide no reason to prefer internalism to externalism
Keywords Reliabilism  Justification  New evil demon problem  Internalism  Externalism  Perceptual anti-individualism
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References found in this work BETA
Tyler Burge (1986). Individualism and Psychology. Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.
Tyler Burge (1982). Other Bodies. In Andrew Woodfield (ed.), Thought and Object. Oxford University Press.
Tyler Burge (2003). Perceptual Entitlement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):503-548.
Tyler Burge (2003). Perceptual Entitlement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):503-48.

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