European Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):89-107 (2003)

Hamid Vahid
Institute for Fundamental Sciences
While recent debates over content externalism have been mainly concerned with whether it undermines the traditional thesis of privileged self‐knowledge, little attention has been paid to what bearing content externalism has on such important controversies as the internalism/externalism debate in epistemology. With a few exceptions, the question has either been treated as a side issue in discussions concerning the implications of content externalism, or has been dealt with in a cursory way in debates over the internalism/externalism distinction in justification theory. In this paper, I begin by considering some of the arguments that have sought to address the question, focusing mainly on Boghossian's pioneering attempt in bringing the issue to the fore.1 It will be argued that Boghossian's attempt to exploit the alleged non‐inferentiality of self‐knowledge to show that content externalism and justification internalism are incompatible fails.In the course of this examination, I consider and reject as inadequate some recent responses to Boghossian's argument . I then turn to evaluating Chase's own proposed argument to show how content externalism can be brought to bear on the internalism/externalism debate in epistemology, and find it wanting. Finally, having discussed BonJour's terse remarks in this connection,3 I set out to present, what I take to be, the strongest argument for the incompatibility of content externalism and justification internalism while highlighting the controversial character of one of its main premises. Let us, however, begin by drawing the contours of the debate
Keywords Content  Epistemology  Externalism  Incompatibility  Justification  Boghossian, P  Chase, J
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1468-0378.00176
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,979
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Content and Self-Knowledge.Paul A. Boghossian - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (1):5-26.
Varieties of Priveleged Access.William P. Alston - 1971 - American Philosophical Quarterly 8 (3):223-41.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

McDowell on Reasons, Externalism and Scepticism.Duncan Pritchard - 2003 - European Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):273-294.
McDowell on Reasons, Externalism and Scepticism.Duncan Pritchard - 2003 - European Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):273-294.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
107 ( #109,250 of 2,504,871 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #417,030 of 2,504,871 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes