An argument that internalism requires infallibility

Most contemporary internalists are fallibilists, denying that there need be anything about which we are infallible for us to have knowledge or justified beliefs. At the same time, internalists standardly appeal to ‘internal twins’ in arguing against externalism and motivating internalism---a Cartesian demon can ruin the ‘external’ relations we have to the world, but one is equally well justified in one’s beliefs whether or not one is subject to such deception. Even if one doesn’t motivate one’s internalism by appeal to internal twins, any internalist must agree that internal twins are equally well justified in their beliefs. I argue that the internal twins argument for, or commitment of internalism, commits one to the claim that the conditions in virtue of which one is justified must be ones about which a believer is infallible. The basic argument is that for anything about which one can be mistaken, one has an internal twin who is mistaken, but is equally well justified---and so, not in virtue of that about which one can be mistaken. If the argument can be resisted, this should tell us something useful about how to properly understand both internalism in general, and the idea of internal twins in particular
Keywords internalism   infallibility   justification   epistemic twins' epistemic luck
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00096.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,660
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Nicholas Silins (2005). Deception and Evidence. Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):375–404.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Declan Smithies (2015). Why Justification Matters. In David Henderson & John Greco (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Point and Purpose in Epistemology. Oxford University Press 224-244.
Michael Bergmann (2000). Deontology and Defeat. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):87-102.
B. J. C. Madison (2010). Epistemic Internalism. Philosophy Compass 5 (10):840-853.
Alan Sidelle (2002). Innoculi Innocula. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):409-411.
Earl Conee (2002). Innocuous Infallibility. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):406 - 408.
Earl Conee (2002). Innocuous Infallibility. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):406-408.
Alan Sidelle (2002). Innoculi Innocula. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):409 - 411.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

46 ( #97,992 of 1,948,518 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #83,956 of 1,948,518 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.