Externalism and action-guiding epistemic norms

Synthese 110 (3):343-355 (1997)

In his book, Contemporary Theories of Knowledge, John Pollock argues that all externalist theories of justification should be rejected on the grounds that they do not do justice to the action-guiding character of epistemic norms. I reply that Pollocks argument is ineffective — because not all externalisms are intended to involve action-guiding norms, and because Pollock does not give a good reason for thinking that action-guiding norms must be internalist norms. Second, I consider rehabilitating Pollocks argument by restricting his conclusion to theories that do involve action-guiding norms and providing a better reason to think that action-guiding norms must be internalist norms. But I claim that if Pollocks argument is made strong enough to rule out all externalisms, it rules out too much, namely, any plausible conception of epistemic norms.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1023/A:1004945312756
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