Mentalism is not epistemic ur-internalism

Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):233 - 249 (2012)

Evan Thomas Butts
East Tennessee State University
Earl Conee and Richard Feldman claim that mentalism identifies the core of internalist epistemology. This is what I call identifying ur-internalism. Their version of ur-internalism differs from the traditional one ? viz., accessibilism ? by not imposing requirements stipulating that subjects must have reflective access to facts which justify their beliefs for these beliefs to be justified. Instead, justification simply supervenes on the mental lives of subjects. I argue that mentalism fails to establish itself as ur-internalism by demonstrating that the strong supervenience claim used by Conee and Feldman is consistent with cognitive externalism (often called ?the extended mind hypothesis?). Briefly, cognitive externalism claims that the mental states themselves (rather than their contents) constitutively depend on factors outside the bodily individual. Given this possibility, I claim Conee and Feldman's supervenience principle no longer suits the purposes to which they put it
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DOI 10.1080/13869795.2012.670725
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Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Brainstorms.Daniel C. Dennett - 1978 - MIT Press.

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