Internalism, Factivity, and Sufficient Reason

In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press (2018)
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Abstract

How radical is the idea that reasons are factive? Some philosophers consider it a dramatic departure from orthodoxy, with surprising implications about the bearing of the external world on what credences it’s reasonable to have, what beliefs are epistemically appropriate, and what actions are rational. I deny these implications. In the cases where external matters imply differences in factive states, there will inevitably be important weaker factive states in common. For example, someone who knows it is raining has many factive states in common with someone who has a Gettiered belief that it is raining, or one who falsely but justifiably believes that it is raining. The factive reasons denied to subjects in Gettier cases or skeptical scenarios are in an important sense redundant; appropriate belief or action supervenes on internal states, even if reasons must be factive (and even if appropriate belief and action supervenes on reasons). The degree to which the strategy is applicable depends substantively on epistemic assumptions about basic or foundational knowledge. I argue that even given a significantly externalist approach to the latter internalist intuitions about rational credence, belief, and action can be vindicated.

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Jonathan Ichikawa
University of British Columbia

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
What is Justified Belief?Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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