Active Externalism and Epistemic Internalism
- 356 Downloads
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 (despite initial appearances to the contrary) significantly restrict one’s options in epistemology.
KeywordsActive Externalism Epistemic Justification Extended Mind Propositional Justification Biological Memory
The authors would like to thank Emma C. Gordon, Jesper Kallestrup and Duncan Pritchard for helpful discussion. Thanks also to two anonymous referees at Erkenntnis who offered a number of very helpful suggestions. This article was written as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Extended Knowledge’ (#AH/J011908/1) research project that is hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s Eidyn research centre.
- Adams, F., & Aizawa, K. (2008). The bounds of cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Bach, K. (1985). A rationale for reliabilism. The Monist, 68.Google Scholar
- Bergmann, M. A. (2006). Justification without awareness: A defense of epistemic externalism. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- BonJour, L. (1985). The structure of empirical knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Bonjour, L. (1992). Externalism/Internalism. In J. Dancy & E. Sosa (Eds.) A companion to epistemology (pp. 132–136). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Brueckner, A. (2002). The consistency of content-externalism and justification-internalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 80(4), 512–515.Google Scholar
- Carter, J. A., & Kallestrup, J. (2014). Extended cognition and propositional memory. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (in press).Google Scholar
- Carter, J. A., Kallestrup, J., Palermos, S. O., & Pritchard, D. (2013). Varieties of externalism. Philosophical Issues, 24, 63–109.Google Scholar
- Carter, J. A., & Pritchard, D. (2014). Extended entitlement. In P. Graham & N. Pedersen (Eds.), New essays on entitlement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Chemero, A. (2009). Radical embodied cognitive science. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Chisholm, R. (1977). Theory of knowledge (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Conee, E., & Feldman, R. (2001). Internalism defended. In H. Kornblith (Ed.), Epistemology: Internalism and externalism. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Fine, K. (2012). Guide to ground. In F. Correia & B. Schneider (Eds.), Metaphysical grounding: Understanding the structure of reality (pp. 37–80). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Firth, R. (1978). Are epistemic concepts reducible to ethical concepts? In A. Goldman & J. Kim (Eds.), Values and morals. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co.Google Scholar
- Froese, T., Gershenson, C., & Rosenblueth, D. A. (2013). The dynamically extended mind. http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.1958.
- Ginet, C. (1975). Knowledge, perception, and memory. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
- Goldberg, S. C. (2010). Relying on others: An essay in epistemology. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Goldman, A. I. (1986). Epistemology and cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Goldman, A. I. (1999). Internalism exposed. The Journal of Philosophy, 271–293.Google Scholar
- Greco, J. (2005). Justification is not internal. In M. Steup, J. Turri, & E. Sosa (Eds.), Contemporary debates in epistemology (pp. 257–269). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Kallestrup, J., & Pritchard, D. H. (2013). Robust virtue epistemology and epistemic dependence. Knowledge, virtue and action: Putting Epistemic Virtues to Work.Google Scholar
- Kallestrup, J. & Sprevak, M. (Eds.) (2013). Entangled Externalisms. In: New Waves in Philosophy of Mind, Palgrave Macmillan, New York p. 77–97.Google Scholar
- Kvanvig, J. L. (2003). Propositionalism and the perspectival character of justification. American Philosophical Quarterly, 3–17.Google Scholar
- Leite, A. (2004). On justifying and being justified. Noûs, 14 (Supplement: Philosophical Issues), 219–253.Google Scholar
- Menary, R. (2007). Cognitive integration: Mind and cognition unbound. London: Palgrave McMillan.Google Scholar
- Pappas, G. (2005). Internalist vs. externalist conceptions of epistemic justification. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall 2013 edition). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2013/entries/justep-intext/.
- Pollock, J. L., & Cruz, J. (1999). Contemporary theories of knowledge (Vol. 35). New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Pritchard, D., & Kallestrup, J. (2004). An argument for the inconsistency of content externalism and epistemic internalism. Philosophia, 31(3), 345–354.Google Scholar
- Rupert, R. (2004). Challenges to the hypothesis of extended cognition. Journal of Philosophy, 101, 389–428.Google Scholar
- Schwitzgebel, E. (2014). Belief. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2014 edition). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/belief/.
- Smithies, D. (2014). Access internalism and the extended mind (manuscript).Google Scholar
- Sosa, E. (2007). A virtue epistemology: Apt belief and reflective knowledge (Vol. 1). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Sutton, J., Barnier, A., Harris, C., & Wilson, R. (2008). A conceptual and empirical framework for the social distribution of cognition: The case of memory. Cognitive Systems Research, (1–2), 33–51.Google Scholar
- Turri, J. (2009). Epistemic supervenience. In J. Dancy, E. Sosa, & M. Steup (Eds.), A companion to epistemology. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Wilson, R. A. (2004). Boundaries of the mind: The individual in the fragile sciences: Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar