Saturday, October 27, 2012

internalism / externalism

My interpretation would be that internalism is closer to responsibilism and externalism is closer to reliabilism.

It seems that some externalists might, however, argue that knowledge does not require justification, which would be contrary to a reliabilist approach.

If I think about the truth of propositional statements, I believe that the internalist/externalist distinction is not particularly helpful. The reason we seem to have two theories is that "knowledge" has different meaning in different circumstances, some of which lend themselves to an externalist definition and others an internalist. It isn't as straightforward as saying one view is correct and the other is false.

I also think this argument applies to responsibilism v reliabilism to a certain degree. We use the word knowledge in different ways in different circumstances, similar to the high standard / low standard debate.

In a high standard context, knowledge cannot be entirely subjective, be that either 'responsibilist' or 'internalist'. That seems contrary to the generally accepted meaning of knowledge. If a purely internalist definition could account for knowledge it would seem to underplay the role of society in validating knowledge.

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