Scientific Evidence and the Internalism–Externalism Distinction

Acta Analytica 37 (3):375-395 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Considerations of scientific evidence are often thought to provide externalism with the dialectical upper hand in the internalism–externalism debate. How so? A couple of reasons are forthcoming in the literature. (1) Williamson (2000) argues that the E = K thesis (in contrast to internalism) provides the best explanation for the fact that scientists appear to argue from premises about true propositions (or facts) that are common knowledge among the members of the scientific community. (2) Kelly (Philosophy Compass, 3 (5), 933–955, 2008; 2016) argues that only externalism is suited to account for the public character of scientific evidence. In this article, I respond to Williamson and Kelly’s arguments. First, I show that the E = K thesis isn’t supported by the way in which we talk about scientific evidence, and that it is unable to account for facts about what has been regarded as scientific evidence and as justified scientific belief in the history of science. Second, I argue that there are internalist views that can account for the publicity of scientific evidence, and that those views indeed do better in that regard than the (externalist) view proposed by Kelly. The upshot is that considerations of scientific evidence do not favor externalism over internalism.

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-08-24

Downloads
379 (#57,355)

6 months
115 (#46,235)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jonathan Egeland
University of Agder

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Edmund Gettier - 1963 - Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.

View all 34 references / Add more references