We distinguish and discuss two different accounts of the subject matter of theories of reference, meta-externalism and meta-internalism. We argue that a form of the meta- internalist view, “moderate meta-internalism”, is the most plausible account of the subject matter of theories of reference. In the second part of the paper we explain how this account also helps to answer the questions of what kind of concept reference is, and what role intuitions have in the study of the reference relation.
In the mid-20th century, descriptive meta-ethics addressed a number of central questions, such as whether there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation, whether moral reasons are absolute or relative, and whether moral judgments express attitudes or describe states of affairs. I maintain that much of this work in mid-20th century meta-ethics proceeded on an assumption that there is good reason to question. The assumption was that our ordinary discourse is uniform and determinate enough to vindicate one side (...) or the other of these meta-ethical debates. I suggest that ordinary moral discourse may be much less uniform and determinate than 20th century meta-ethics assumed. (shrink)
In the following I discuss the debate between epistemological internalists and externalists from an unfamiliar meta-epistemological perspective. In doing so, I focus on the question of whether rationality is best captured in externalist or internalist terms. Using a conception of epistemic judgments as “doxastic plans,” I characterize one important subspecies of judgments about epistemic rationality—focusing on the distinctive rational/functional role these judgments play in regulating how we form beliefs. Then I show why any judgment that plays this role should be (...) expected to behave the manner internalists predict. In this way, I argue, we can explain why our basic toolbox for epistemic evaluation includes an internalist conception of rationality. (shrink)
This paper deals with the concept of epistemic luck and its place within wider philosophical debates on knowledge and skepticism. Philosophers involved in these debates share an intuition that knowledge excludes luck. Starting from Prichard’s modal definition of luck and his distinction between two varieties of epistemic luck, namely veridic and reflective, the paper explores the internalist and externalist prospects for avoiding epistemic luck and skepticism. Externalism seems to be capable of both coping with the Gettier-type cases and eliminating at (...) least veridic epistemic luck by introducing the so-called safety condition for knowledge. As such, it also responds to some versions of skepticism as the safety condition explains how it is possible to acquire knowledge without proving that the well known skeptical alternatives are false. Thus, even though it does not eliminate the reflective epistemic luck or meta-epistemological skeptical challenge, the externalist approach to knowledge looks more plausible than the internalist, especially because it may allow an internalist justification to play its due role in acquiring knowledge. (shrink)
In sec. 1.1 I emphasize the meliorative purpose of epistemology, and I characterize Goldman's epistemology as reliabilistic, cognitive, social, and meliorative. In sec. 1.2 I point out that Goldman's weak notion of knowledge is in conflict with our ordinary usage of 'knowledge'. In sec. 2 I argue for an externalist-internalist hybrid conception of justification which adds reliability-indicators to externalist knowledge. Reliability-indicators produce a veritistic surplus value for the social spread of knowledge. In sec. 3 I analyze some particular meliorative rules (...) which have been proposed by Goldman. I prove that obedience to the rule of maximally specific evidence increases expected veritistic value (sec. 3.1), and I argue that rule-circular arguments are epistemically worthless (sec. 3.2). In the final sec. 3.3 I report a non-circular justification of meta-induction which has been developed elsewhere. (shrink)
Taking my cue from Michael Smith, I try to extract a decent argument for non-cognitivism from the text of the Treatise. I argue that the premises are false and that the whole thing rests on a petitio principi. I then re-jig the argument so as to support that conclusion that Hume actually believed (namely that an action is virtuous if it would excite the approbation of a suitably qualified spectator). This argument too rests on false premises and a begged question. (...) Thus the Motivation Argument fails BOTH as an argument for noncognitivism AND as an argument for what Hume actually believed, that moral distinctions are not derived from reason and that moral properties are akin to secondary qualities. So far as the Motivation Argument is concerned, both cognitivists and rationalists can rest easy. Themes: 1) Hume’s Slavery of Reason thesis is only defensible if passions are not only desires but sometimes dispositions to acquire desires (DTADs). 2) A desire for our good on the whole, which Humeans need to posit to fend off apparent counterexamples to the Slavery of Reason Thesis, does not sit well with the Humean theory of how novel desires arise (an objection due originally to Reid). 3) Hume is wrong to suppose that ‘abstract or demonstrative reasoning never influences any of our actions, but only as it directs our judgment concerning causes and effects’ as the examples of Russell and Hobbes convincingly demonstrate. This ironic as both Russell and Hobbes subscribed to the Slavery of Reason Thesis. 4) I critique Michael Smith’s critique of motivational externalism. (shrink)
This paper addresses the meta-epistemological dispute over the basis of epistemic evaluation from the standpoint of meliorative epistemology. Meliorative epistemology aims at guiding our epistemic practice to better results, and it comprises two levels of epistemic evaluation. At the social level (meliorative social epistemology) appropriate experts conduct evaluation for the community, so that epistemic evaluation is externalist since each epistemic subject in the community need not have access to the basis of the experts' evaluation. While at the personal level (meliorative (...) personal epistemology) epistemic evaluation is internalist since each member of the community must evaluate the reliability of the (apparent) experts from the first-person perspective. I argue that evaluation at the social level should be the primary focus of meliorative epistemology since meliorative personal epistemology does not provide informative epistemic norms. It is then pointed out that epistemic evaluation at the social level can be considered internalist in the extended sense (social internalism) in that every component of the evaluation needs to be recognized by some members of the community at some points. As a result, some familiar problems of internalist epistemology, such as regress and circularity of epistemic support, carry over to meliorative social epistemology. (shrink)
Written by an international team of leading scholars, this collection of thirteen new essays explores the implications of semantic externalism for self-knowledge and skepticism, bringing recent developments in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, and epistemology to bear on the issue. Structured in three parts, the collection looks at self-knowledge, content transparency, and then meta-semantics and the nature of mental content. The chapters examine a wide range of topics in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, (...) including 2D semantics, transparency views of self-knowledge, and theories of linguistic understanding, as well as epistemological debates on contextualism, contrastivism, pragmatic encroachment, anti-luminosity arguments and testimony. The scope of the volume will appeal to graduate students and researchers in epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, cognitive science, psychology and linguistics. (shrink)
What does it take for some epistemological thinking to be epistemically justified? Indeed, is that outcome even possible? This paper argues that it is not possible: no epistemological thinking can ever be epistemically justified. A vicious infinite regress of epistemological reflection is the price that would have to be paid for having some such justification. Clearly, that price would be too high.
This paper argues that Sosa’s virtue perspectivism fails to combine satisfactorily internalist and externalist features in a single theory. Internalism and externalism are reconciled at the price of creating a Gettier problem at the level of “reflective” or second-order knowledge. The general lesson to be learned from the critique of virtue perspectivism is that internalism and externalism cannot be combined by bifurcating justification and knowledge into an object-level and a meta-level and assigning externalism and internalism to different levels.
Virtually all philosophers agree that for a belief to be epistemically justified, it must satisfy certain conditions. Perhaps it must be supported by evidence. Or perhaps it must be reliably formed. Or perhaps there are some other "good-making" features it must have. But does a belief's justification also require some sort of awareness of its good-making features? The answer to this question has been hotly contested in contemporary epistemology, creating a deep divide among its practitioners. Internalists, who tend to focus (...) on scientific or theoretical beliefs as the ideal, insist that such awareness is required for justification. Externalists, who think children's ordinary beliefs in obvious facts are paradigm cases of justified belief, say it isn't required. Michael Bergmann's book offers a decisive refutation of internalism and a sustained defense of externalism. (shrink)
Researchers have wondered how the brain creates emotions since the early days of psychological science. With a surge of studies in affective neuroscience in recent decades, scientists are poised to answer this question. In this target article, we present a meta-analytic summary of the neuroimaging literature on human emotion. We compare the locationist approach (i.e., the hypothesis that discrete emotion categories consistently and specifically correspond to distinct brain regions) with the psychological constructionist approach (i.e., the hypothesis that discrete emotion categories (...) are constructed of more general brain networks not specific to those categories) to better understand the brain basis of emotion. We review both locationist and psychological constructionist hypotheses of brain–emotion correspondence and report meta-analytic findings bearing on these hypotheses. Overall, we found little evidence that discrete emotion categories can be consistently and specifically localized to distinct brain regions. Instead, we found evidence that is consistent with a psychological constructionist approach to the mind: A set of interacting brain regions commonly involved in basic psychological operations of both an emotional and non-emotional nature are active during emotion experience and perception across a range of discrete emotion categories. (shrink)
The education of students and professionals in business ethics is an increasingly important goal on the agenda of business schools and corporations. The present study provides a meta-analysis of 25 previously conducted business ethics instructional programs. The role of criteria, study design, participant characteristics, quality of instruction, instructional content, instructional program characteristics, and characteristics of instructional methods as moderators of the effectiveness of business ethics instruction were examined. Overall, results indicate that business ethics instructional programs have a minimal␣impact on increasing (...) outcomes related to ethical perceptions, behavior, or awareness. However, specific criteria, content, and methodological moderators of effectiveness shed light on potential recommendations for␣improving business ethics instruction. Implications for␣future research and practice in business ethics are discussed. (shrink)
Our aim is to provide a topography of the relevant philosophical terrain with regard to the possible ways in which knowledge can be conceived of as extended. We begin by charting the different types of internalist and externalist proposals within epistemology, and we critically examine the different formulations of the epistemic internalism/externalism debate they lead to. Next, we turn to the internalism/externalism distinction within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In light of the above dividing lines, we then examine first (...) the extent to which content externalism is compatible with epistemic externalism; second, whether active externalism entails epistemic externalism; and third whether there are varieties of epistemic externalism that are better suited to accommodate active externalism. Finally, we examine whether the combination of epistemic and cognitive externalism is necessary for epistemology and we comment on the potential ramifications of this move for social epistemology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
This chapter first surveys general issues in the epistemic internalism / externalism debate: what is the distinction, what motivates it, and what arguments can be given on both sides. -/- The second part of the chapter will examine the internalism / externalism debate as regards to the specific case of the epistemology of memory belief.
The present study meta-analyzed 45 experiments with 959 subjects and 463 activation foci reported in 43 published articles that investigated the neural mechanism of moral functions by comparing neural activity between the moral-task and non-moral-task conditions with the Activation Likelihood Estimate method. The present study examined the common activation foci of morality-related task conditions. In addition, this study compared the neural correlates of moral sensibility with the neural correlates of moral judgment, which are the two functional components in the Neo-Kohlbergian (...) model of moral functioning. The results showed that brain regions associated with the default mode network were significantly more active during morality-related task conditions than during non-morality task conditions. These brain regions were also commonly activated in both moral judgment and moral sensibility task conditions. In contrast, the right temporoparietal junction and supramarginal gyrus were found to be more active only during conditions of moral judgment. These findings suggest that the neural correlates of moral sensibility and moral judgment are perhaps commonly associated with brain circuitries of self-related psychological processes, but the neural correlates of those two functional components are distinguishable from each other. (shrink)
Review of extant research on the corporate environmental performance (CEP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) link generally demonstrates a positive relationship. However, some arguments and empirical results have demonstrated otherwise. As a result, researchers have called for a contingency approach to this research stream, which moves beyond the basic question “does it pay to be green?” and instead asks “when does it pay to be green?” In answering this call, we provide a meta-analytic review of CEP–CFP literature in which we (...) identify potential moderators to the CEP–CFP relationship including environmental performance type (e.g., reactive vs. proactive performance), firm characteristics (e.g., large vs. small firms), and methodological issues (e.g., self-report measures). By analyzing these contingencies, this study attempts to provide a basis on which to draw conclusions regarding some inconsistencies and debates in the CEP–CFP research. Some of the results of the moderator analysis suggest that small firms benefit from environmental performance as much or more than large firms, US firms seem to benefit more than international counterparts, and environmental performance seems to have the strongest influence on market-measures of financial performance. (shrink)
I develop and argue for a kind of externalism about certain kinds of non-doxastic attitudes that I call policy externalism. Policy externalism about a given type of attitude is the view that all the reasonable policies for having attitudes of that type will not involve the agent's beliefs that some relevant conditions obtain. My defense primarily involves attitudes like hatred, regret, and admiration, and has two parts: a direct deductive argument and an indirect linguistic argument, an inference to the best (...) explanation of some strange ways we use certain conditionals. The main thought throughout is that attitudes we reason with, like belief, are very different from attitudes we don't reason with, in a way that constrains the former but not the latter. Finally, I investigate some consequences of policy externalism, including that it secures the possibility of genuine conditional apologies. (shrink)
Several prominent philosophers have argued that the fact that depressed agents sometimes make moral judgments without being appropriately motivated supports Humean externalism – the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are distinct from or “external” to an agent’s motivationally inert moral judgments. This essay argues that such motivational failures do not, in fact, provide evidence for this view. I argue that, if the externalist argument from depression is to undermine a philo-sophically important version of (...) internalism, it must make use of a general assumption about motivational states. However, at a reasonable level of abstraction, the needed assumption also implies that even desires could not be effective sources of motivation. For, just as depressed agents might sometimes lack motivation to act consistently with their moral judgments, they also sometimes lack motivation to pursue their desires. Moreover, the most plausible responses that Humeans can give to this general argument undermine the externalist case against internalism. Thus, there is a deep tension between the argument from depression for externalism and a fundamental Humean commitment. (shrink)
An astonishing volume and diversity of evidence is available for many hypotheses in the biomedical and social sciences. Some of this evidence—usually from randomized controlled trials (RCTs)—is amalgamated by meta-analysis. Despite the ongoing debate regarding whether or not RCTs are the ‘gold-standard’ of evidence, it is usually meta-analysis which is considered the best source of evidence: meta-analysis is thought by many to be the platinum standard of evidence. However, I argue that meta-analysis falls far short of that standard. Different meta-analyses (...) of the same evidence can reach contradictory conclusions. Meta-analysis fails to provide objective grounds for intersubjective assessments of hypotheses because numerous decisions must be made when performing a meta-analysis which allow wide latitude for subjective idiosyncrasies to influence its outcome. I end by suggesting that an older tradition of evidence in medicine—the plurality of reasoning strategies appealed to by the epidemiologist Sir Bradford Hill—is a superior strategy for assessing a large volume and diversity of evidence. (shrink)
This paper explores the phenomenon of meta-emotions. Meta-emotions are emotions people have about their own emotions. We analyze the intentional structure of meta-emotions and show how psychological findings support our account. Acknowledgement of meta-emotions can elucidate a number of important issues in the philosophy of mind and, more specifically, the philosophy and psychology of emotions. Among them are (allegedly) ambivalent or paradoxical emotions, emotional communication, emotional self-regulation, privileged access failure for repressed emotions, and survivor guilt.
This paper reassesses the case against Evidential Externalism, the thesis that one's evidence fails to supervene on one's non-factive mental states, focusing on two objections to Externalism due by Nicholas Silins: the armchair access argument and the supervenience argument. It also examines Silins's attempt to undermine the force of one major source of motivation for Externalism, namely that the rival Internalist picture of evidence is implicated in some central arguments for scepticism. While Silins concludes that the case against Evidential Externalism (...) is surprisingly strong, reassessing the arguments supports the opposite conclusion; the objections to Externalism are weak, and for all Silins has shown it may well have unmatched advantages when it comes to resisting scepticism. (shrink)
Is the nature of testimonial warrant epistemically internalist or externalist? I will argue that the question should be answered ‘yes!’ The disjunction is not exclusive. Rather, a testimonial belief may possess epistemically internalist warrant—justification—as well as epistemically externalist warrant—entitlement. I use the label ‘pluralism’ to denote the view that there are both internalist and externalist species of genuinely epistemic warrant and argue for pluralism in the epistemology of testimony.
According to a variety of recent ‘enactivist’ proposals, the material basis of conscious experience might extend beyond the boundaries of the brain and nervous system and into the environment. Clark (2009) surveys several such arguments and finds them wanting. Here I respond on behalf of the enactivist. Clarifying the commitments of enactivism at the personal and subpersonal levels and considering how those levels relate lets us see where Clark’s analysis of enactivism goes wrong. Clark understands the enactivists as attempting to (...) provide hypotheses about the subpersonal mechanisms underlying experience according to which those mechanisms contingently include portions of the environment. But understanding enactivism instead as involving a relational conception of experience at the personal level, with apparent implications for the location of the subpersonal mechanisms of experience, allows us to make better sense of the enactivist arguments, and make the case for conscious externalism. (shrink)
Recent discussion of Vogel-style “bootstrapping” scenarios suggests that they provide counterexamples to a wide variety of epistemological theories. Yet it remains unclear why it’s bad for a theory to permit bootstrapping, or even exactly what counts as a bootstrapping case. Going back to Vogel's original bootstrapping example, I note that an agent who could gain justification through the method Vogel describes would have available a “no-lose investigation”: an investigation that can justify a proposition but has no possibility of undermining it. (...) The main suggestion of this article is that an epistemological theory should not permit no-lose investigations. I identify necessary and sufficient conditions for such investigations, then explore epistemological theories that rule them out. If we want to avoid both skepticism and no-lose investigations, we must eschew either Closure or epistemic externalism. (shrink)
Using traditional meta-analytic techniques, we compile relevant research to enhance conceptual appreciation of ethical climate theory (ECT) as it has been studied in the descriptive and applied ethics literature. We explore the various treatments of ethical climate to understand how the theoretical framework has developed. Furthermore, we provide a comprehensive picture of how the theory has been extended by describing the individual-level work climate outcomes commonly studied in this theoretical context. Meta-analysis allows us to resolve inconsistencies in previous findings as (...) well as confirm the central tenets of the overall ethical climate framework. In addition, we consider the ethical climate relationships in the larger context of the␣theoretical framework, using path analysis to test the structural relationships. Overall, our results provide evidence of the relationships between ethical climate perceptions and individual-level work outcomes. Based on our analyses, we offer future research directions important for further development of ECT. (shrink)
Psychological externalism is the thesis Chat the contents of many of a person's propositional mental states are determined in part by relations he bears to his natural and social environment. This thesis has recently been thrust into prominence in the philosophy of mind by a series of thought experiments due to Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge. Externalism is a metaphysical thesis, but in this work I investigate its implications for the epistemology of the mental. I am primarily concerned with the (...) question whether externalism undermines the idea that a person typically knows the contents of her own thoughts, beliefs, and other propositional attitudes directly and authoritatively. I criticize arguments that have been advanced on behalf of a positive answer to this question, and argue that they rest on a faulty conception of the nature of first person authority, one which likens our access to our own minds to perception. An account of the basis of first person authority is sketched that locates our epistemic right to our self-ascriptions of propositional attitude not in our ability to discriminate among the various thought contents we might be thinking, but rather in our ability to express our thoughts, and to think with them in accordance with the norms of rationality. I consider also the question whether first person authority and externalism jointly make possible a refutation of certain forms of global skepticism, as has been famously argued by Putnam. I argue that Putnam's attempted refutation fails, because the crucial externalist claims that drive it are not knowable a priori. (shrink)
In recent decades, several attempts have been made to characterize Buddhism as a systematically unified and consistent normative ethical theory. This has given rise to a growing interest in meta-ethical questions. Meta-ethics can be broadly or narrowly defined. Defined broadly, it is a domain of inquiry concerned with the nature and status of the fundamental or framing presuppositions of normative ethical theories, where this includes the cognitive and epistemic requirements of presupposed conceptions of ethical agency.1 Defined narrowly, it concerns the (...) justificatory status of fundamental moral claims or judgments, i.e., claims or judgments of the form ‘x is good, right, virtuous’ and ‘x is bad, wrong, vicious.’.. (shrink)
Ethics position theory (EPT) maintains that individuals’ personal moral philosophies influence their judgments, actions, and emotions in ethically intense situations. The theory, when describing these moral viewpoints, stresses two dimensions: idealism (concern for benign outcomes) and relativism (skepticism with regards to inviolate moral principles). Variations in idealism and relativism across countries were examined via a meta-analysis of studies that assessed these two aspects of moral thought using the ethics position questionnaire (EPQ; Forsyth, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39, 175–184, (...) 1980). This review identified 139 samples drawn from 29 different countries, for a total sample of 30,230 respondents, and concluded that (a) levels of idealism and relativism vary across regions of the world in predictable ways; (b) an exceptionist ethic is more common in Western countries, subjectivism and situationism in Eastern countries, and absolutism and situationism in Middle Eastern countries; and (c) a nation’s ethics position predicted that country’s location on previously documented cultural dimensions, such as individualism and avoidance of uncertainty (Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, 1980). Limitations in these methods and concerns about the validity of these cross-cultural conclusions are noted, as are suggestions for further research using the EPQ. (shrink)
Internalist approaches to epistemic justification are, though controversial, considered a live option in contemporary epistemology. Accordingly, if ‘active’ externalist approaches in the philosophy of mind—e.g. the extended cognition and extended mind theses—are _in principle_ incompatible with internalist approaches to justification in epistemology, then this will be an epistemological strike against, at least the _prima facie_ appeal of, active externalism. It is shown here however that, contrary to pretheoretical intuitions, neither the extended cognition _nor_ the extended mind theses are in principle (...) incompatible with two prominent versions of epistemic internalism—viz., accessibilism and mentalism. In fact, one possible diagnosis is that pretheoretical intuitions regarding the incompatibility of active externalism with epistemic internalism are symptomatic of a tacit yet incorrect identification of epistemic internalism with epistemic individualism. Thus, active externalism is not in principle incompatible with epistemic internalism per se and does not significantly restrict one’s options in epistemology. (shrink)
There are many psychic mechanisms by which people engage with their selves. We argue that an important yet hitherto neglected one is self-appraisal via meta-emotions. We discuss the intentional structure of meta-emotions and explore the phenomenology of a variety of examples. We then present a pilot study providing preliminary evidence that some facial displays may indicate the presence of meta-emotions. We conclude by arguing that meta-emotions have an important role to play in higher-order theories of psychic harmony.
Controversy continues to attach to the question whether an externalism about mental content is compatible with a traditional doctrine of privileged self-knowledge. By an externalism about mental content, I mean the view that what concepts our thoughts involve may depend not only on facts that are internal to us, but on facts about our environment. It is worth emphasizing, if only because it is still occasionally misperceived, that this thesis is supposed to apply at the level of sense and not (...) merely at that of reference: what concepts we think in terms of -- and not just what they happen to pick out -- is said by the externalist to depend upon environmental facts. By a traditional doctrine of privileged self-knowledge, I mean the view that we are able to know, without the benefit of empirical investigation, what our thoughts are in our own case. Suppose I entertain a thought that I would express with the sentence `Water is wet'. According to the traditional doctrine, I can know without empirical investigation (a) that I am entertaining a thought; (b) that it has a particular conceptual content, and (c) that its content is that water is wet. (shrink)
The paper presents an extended argument for the claim that mental content impacts the computational individuation of a cognitive system (section 2). The argument starts with the observation that a cognitive system may simultaneously implement a variety of different syntactic structures, but that the computational identity of a cognitive system is given by only one of these implemented syntactic structures. It is then asked what are the features that determine which of implemented syntactic structures is the computational structure of the (...) system, and it is contended that these features are certain aspects of mental content. The argument helps (section 3) to reassess the thesis known as computational externalism, namely, the thesis that computational theories of cognition make essential reference to features in the individual's environment. It is suggested that the familiar arguments for computational externalism?which rest on thought experiments and on exegesis of Marr's theories of vision?are unconvincing, but that they can be improved. A reconstruction of the visex/audex thought experiment is offered in section 3.1. An outline of a novel interpretation of Marr's theories of vision is presented in section 3.2. The corrected arguments support the claim that computational theories of cognition are intentional. Computational externalism is still pending, however, upon the thesis that psychological content is extrinsic. (shrink)
Epistemic externalism is a view about what it takes for a belief to be epistemically justified or to be an item of knowledge. Externalism has grown considerably in popularity over the past few decades and this development has spilled over into the philosophy of religion, where we find externalist theories of justification and knowledge being employed to make the case for the positive epistemic status of religious beliefs. In §1, I offer an overview of epistemic externalism and its rival, internalism. (...) In §2, I outline some of the most significant applications of externalism to the philosophy of religion. In §3, I consider whether externalist theories are really required to secure various desiderata that externalist religious epistemologists take to be important. In §4, I explore an objection according to which the facts of religious diversity indicate that religious beliefs do not meet externalist requirements for justification or knowledge. Finally, in §5, I consider a worry about whether externalist accounts can really be used to evaluate the epistemic standing of religious beliefs. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
When proponents of cognitive externalism (CE) turn to empirical studies in cognitive science to put the framework to use and to assess its explanatory success, they typically refer to perception, memory, or motor coordination. In contrast, not much has been said about reasoning. One promising avenue to explore in this respect is the theory of bounded rationality (BR). To clarify the relationship between CE and BR, we criticize Andy Clark's understanding of BR, as well as his claim that BR does (...) not fit his version of CE. We then propose and defend a version of CE—“scaffolded cognition”—that is not committed to constitutive claims about the mind, but still differs from mainstream internalism. Finally, we analyze BR from our own CE perspective, thereby clarifying its vague appeals to the environment, and argue that cognitive internalism cannot explain important aspects of the BR program. (shrink)
Boghossian has argued that Putnam's externalism is incompatible with privileged access, i.e., the claim that a subject can have nonempirical knowledge of her thought contents ('What the externalist can know a priori', PAS 1997). Boghossian's argument assumes that Oscar can know a priori that (1) 'water' aims to name a natural kind; and (2) 'water' expresses an atomic concept. However, I show that if Burge's externalism is correct, then these assumptions may well be false. This leaves Boghossian with two options: (...) (a) (heroically) to show that Burge's externalism is false; or (b) to reformulate the argument such that it does not require the two assumptions in question. I suggest one way of reformulating the argument. (shrink)
Psychiatry widely assumes an internalist biomedical model of mental illness. I argue that many of psychiatry’s diagnostic categories involve an implicit commitment to constitutive externalism about mental illness. Some of these categories are socially externalist in nature.
It is argued that Husserl was an “externalist” in at least one sense. For it is argued that Husserl held that genuinely perceptual experiences—that is to say, experiences that are of some real object in the world—differ intrinsically, essentially and as a kind from any hallucinatory experiences. There is, therefore, no neutral “content” that such perceptual experiences share with hallucinations, differing from them only over whether some additional non-psychological condition holds or not. In short, it is argued that Husserl was (...) a “disjunctivist”. In addition, it is argued that Husserl held that the individual object of any experience, perceptual or hallucinatory, is essential to and partly constitutive of that experience. The argument focuses on three aspects of Husserl’s thought: his account of intentional objects, his notion of horizon, and his account of reality. (shrink)
For non-analytic ethical naturalists, externalism about moral motivation is an attractive option: it allows naturalists to embrace a Humean theory of motivation while holding that moral properties are real, natural properties. However, Michael Smith has mounted an important objection to this view. Smith observes that virtuous agents must have non-derivative motivation to pursue specific ends that they believe to be morally right; he then argues that this externalist view ascribes to the virtuous agent only a direct de dicto desire to (...) do what is morally right, but not a direct motivation to be kind, help those in need, et. I first clarify this “fetishism objection”; I then show how the non-analytical naturalist can provide an understanding of virtuous motivation that is immune to this objection. (shrink)
Many philosophers have used premises about concepts and rationality to argue that the protagonists in the various Twin Earth thought experiments do not have the concepts that content externalists say they have. This essay argues that this popular internalist argument is flawed in many different ways, and more importantly it cannot be repaired in order to cast doubt on externalism.
Two arguments against the compatibility of epistemic internalism and content externalism are considered. Both arguments are shown to fail, because they equivocate on the concept of justification involved in their premises. To spell out the involved equivocation, a distinction between subjective and objective justification is introduced, which can also be independently motivated on the basis of a wide range of thought experiments to be found in the mainstream literature on epistemology. The subjective/objective justification distinction is also ideally suited for providing (...) new insights with respect to central issues within epistemology, including the internalism/externalism debate and the New Evil Demon intuition. (shrink)
It is commonly held that our thoughts, beliefs, desires and feelings - the mental phenomena that we instantiate - are constituted by states and processes that occur inside our head. The view known as externalism, however, denies that mental phenomena are internal in this sense. The mind is not purely in the head. Mental phenomena are hybrid entities that straddle both internal state and processes and things occurring in the outside world. The development of externalist conceptions of the mind is (...) one of the most controversial, and arguably one of the most important, developments in the philosophy of mind in the second half of the twentieth century. Yet, despite its significance most recent work on externalism has been highly technical, clouding its basic ideas and principles. Moreover, very little work has been done to locate externalism within philosophical developments in both analytic and continental traditions. In this book, Mark Rowlands aims to remedy both these problems and present for the reader a clear and accessible introduction to the subject grounded in wider developments in the history of philosophy. Rowlands shows that externalism has significant and respectable historical roots that make it much more important than a specific eruption that occurred in late twentieth-century analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Within contemporary philosophy of mind, it is taken for granted that externalist accounts of meaning and mental content are, in principle, orthogonal to the matter of whether cognition itself is bound within the biological brain or whether it can constitutively include parts of the world. Accordingly, Clark and Chalmers (1998) distinguish these varieties of externalism as ‘passive’ and ‘active’ respectively. The aim here is to suggest that we should resist the received way of thinking about these dividing lines. With reference (...) to Brandom’s (1994; 2000; 2008) broad semantic inferentialism, we show that a theory of meaning can be at the same time a variety of active externalism. While we grant that supporters of other varieties of content externalism (e.g., Putnam 1975 and Burge 1986) can deny active externalism, this is not an option for semantic inferentialists: On this latter view, the role of the environment (both in its social and natural form) is not ‘passive’ in the sense assumed by the alternative approaches to content externalism. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the contribution of meta-regulation in responding to the regulatory needs of a field beset by significant uncertainties concerning risks, benefits and development trajectories and characterised by fast development. Meta-regulation allows regulators to address problems when they lack the resources or information needed to develop sound “discretion-limiting rules”; meta-regulators exploit the information advantages of those actors to be regulated by leveraging them into the task of regulating itself. The contribution of meta-regulation to the governance of nanotechnologies is (...) assessed in terms of responsibilisation. Responsibilisation is regarded as a pre -requisite for regulatory actors to internalise social values (such as consumer safety and occupational health) and to ensure that these values are built into regulatory practice. In order to explore the potential of responsibilisation, the Code of Conduct for Responsible Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies Research launched by the European Commission in 2008 is evaluated. The Code is a good case of meta-regulation that aims to steer the self-regulation of nanotechnological business and research organisations. The paper concludes that, while efforts were made on the part of meta-regulators and self-regulators to contribute to responsibilisation, important opportunities for responsibilisation such as dissemination and promotion of the Code, trust-building activities, and failure to provide rewards, incentives and stakeholder guidance were not taken up. In order to foster responsibilisation within the meta-regulatory instrument of the EC Code, a number of crucial activities to be undertaken by meta-regulators are recommended. (shrink)