The Internalism/Externalism Controversy: The Epistemization of an Older Debate

Dialectica 52 (3):229-246 (1998)

Hamid Vahid
Institute for Fundamental Sciences
Despite the increasing sophistication of the arguments used by the proponents of the internalist and externalist accounts of justification, the dispute shows no sign of abating. This paper aims at providing an explanation for the current stalemate by showing how the controversy relates to an older debate between the idealists and realists. The two disputes, it will be argued, are fuelled by the same concerns and motivations to an extent that the internalism/externalism controversy may be regarded as the epistemization of the latter debate. The question is no longer whether to be is to be perceived, but whether to be a justifying ground is to be perceived. After noting how different strengths of idealism find their analogue in internalism, I shall further reinforce the claims just made by showing how the problems usually associated with the opposite sides of idealism/realism dispute find an echo in the internalism/externalism controversy.
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DOI 10.1111/dltc.1998.52.issue-3
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