Internalism, externalism and the no-defeater condition

Synthese 110 (3):399-417 (1997)
Despite various attempts to rectify matters, the internalism-externalism (I-E) debate in epistemology remains mired in serious confusion. I present a new account of this debate, one which fits well with entrenched views on the I-E distinction and illuminates the fundamental disagreements at the heart of the debate. Roughly speaking, the I-E debate is over whether or not certain of the necessary conditions of positive epistemic status are internal. But what is the sense of internal here? And of which conditions of which positive epistemic status are we speaking? I argue that an adequate answer to these questions requires reference to what I call the no-defeater condition which is satisfied by a subjects belief B just in case she does not believe that B is defeated. I close by stating succinctly the main positions taken in the I-E debate, identifying the basic points of disagreement and suggesting fruitful courses for future discussion.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1023/A:1004993228686
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Stephen Law (forthcoming). The Pandora’s Box Objection to Skeptical Theism. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-15.
Michael Bergmann (2005). Defeaters and Higher-Level Requirements. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (220):419–436.
Ru Ye (2014). Fumerton's Puzzle for Theories of Rationality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):93-108.
Jennifer Lackey (2006). Learning From Words. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):77–101.

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