An insubstantial externalism

Journal of Philosophy 108 (10):576-582 (2011)
Authors
Axel Barceló
Institute Of Philosophy, Mexico
Abstract
Alvin I. Goldman has argued that since one must count epistemic rules among the factors that help to fix the justificational status of agents (generally called J-factors), not all J-factors are internalist, that is, intrinsic to the agent whose justificational status they help to fix. After all, for an epistemic rule to count as a genuine J-factor, it must be objectively correct and, therefore, “independent of any and all minds.” Consequently, it cannot be intrinsic to any particular epistemic agent. In this brief commentary, I will argue that Goldman’s argument misunderstands what it takes for epistemic justification to be internalist and, therefore, fails to guarantee his externalist conclusion. In particular, I want to demonstrate that Goldman’s argument trivializes the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic properties that lays at the basis of the internalist/externalist debate. I will show that, if sound, simple variations on Goldman’s argument could be used to prove the absurd conclusion that all properties are extrinsic. Now, since the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction is fundamental to debates in several areas of philosophy, not only the internalist/externalist debate in epistemology, I conclude that Goldman’s argument cannot be sound.
Keywords Epistemic Externalism  Internalism  Goldman  Justification  Epistemic Rules
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What's the Use of an Intrinsic Property?Carrie Figdor - 2014 - In Robert Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter. pp. 139-156.

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