Radical internalism meets radical externalism or: Smithies’ epistemology transcendentalised

Abstract

In The Epistemic Role of Consciousness (2019), Declan Smithies has carried out a thorough radical internalist programme. Along the way he compares and contrasts many different views, including a group he calls “radical externalism.” From the labels, it might seem that radical internalism and radical externalism must be very different in their core commitments. In this short note, I will single out a version of radical externalism – factivism, more specifically John McDowell’s version (1994, 1995, 2011) – and argue that actually this version has many similarities with Smithies radical internalism. Where there are differences, they do not obviously lie at the internalist/externalist juncture. The main point of this comparison is that philosophical positions that seem very different can share much common ground, and in seeing this one can be in a better position to understand the crucial points of disagreement.

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Tony Cheng
University College London

References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies (ed.) - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Justifications, Excuses, and Sceptical Scenarios.Timothy Williamson - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch & Julien Dutant (eds.), The New Evil Demon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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