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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DOI 10.1007/s12136-010-0088-7
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References found in this work BETA
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
What is Justified Belief?Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.

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