Third-person internalism: A critical examination of externalism and a foundation-oriented alternative [Book Review]

Acta Analytica 23 (1):9-28 (2008)
This paper starts with an examination of the major problems of foundation-oriented epistemology in Sect. 2. Then, in Sects. 3–4, it is argued that the externalistic re-definition of knowledge deprives this concept from useful applications to human’s epistemic practice. From the viewpoint of cultural evolution, the condition of justification is the most important ingredient of knowledge. An alternative foundation-oriented conception of knowledge called third-person internalism is developed in Sect. 2 and Sect. 5. It combines insights of externalism with the requirement of second-order justification. The application of third-person internalism to contextualistic positions leads to an important constraint on contextualism (Sect. 6). The final section (Sect. 7) sketches new prospects for a foundation-oriented epistemology which are based on epistemic optimality arguments.
Keywords Internalism  Externalism  Third-person internalism  Meliorative epistemology  Epistemic optimality
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-008-0016-2
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