An argument for the inconsistency of content externalism and epistemic internalism

Philosophia 31 (3-4):345-354 (2004)
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Whereas a number of recent articles have focussed upon whether the thesis of content externalism is compatible with a certain sort of knowledge that is gained via first-person authority,1 far less attention has been given to the relationship that this thesis bears to the possession of knowledge in general and, in particular, its relation to internalist and externalist epistemologies. Nevertheless, although very few actual arguments have been presented to this end, there does seem to be a shared suspicion that content externalism must be incompatible with epistemic internalism. In a recent and influential paper, however, James Chase has challenged this conventional wisdom by offering a subtle defence of the view that content externalism and epistemic internalism are, in fact, compatible after all.2 Our aim here is twofold. First, to show that Chase is only able to achieve this result because he focuses upon the internalist conception of justification, rather than knowledge. Second, to formulate one prima facie argument which shows that an internalist conception of knowledge is incompatible with an externalist conception of content, an argument which, moreover, is not touched by Chase



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Author Profiles

Jesper Kallestrup
University of Aberdeen
Duncan Pritchard
University of California, Irvine

Citations of this work

Externalism about mental content.Joe Lau - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Epistemic Internalism.Bjc Madison - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (10):840-853.

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