Epistemological Practice and the Internalism/Externalism Debate

Facta Philosophica 7 (2):283-291 (2005)

Abstract

The dialogue between internalists who maintain a belief is a case of knowledge when that which justifies the belief is within the agent's first-person perspective and externalists who maintain epistemic justification can be in part, or entirely, outside the agent's first-person perspective has been part of the epistemological literature for some time with one side usually attempting to show how the other side is mistaken. Edward Craig argues the internalist/externalist debate is flawed from the outset. Specifically, both internalism and externalism should be incorporated into the correct analysis of knowledge once we revamp that project. The epistemological project, according to Craig, is a practical explication of what both our epistemological practices and the concept of knowledge do for us. My purpose here is to evaluate this proposal, as well as Ram Neta's attempt to generalize this proposal to cover all epistemic appraisals, in light of the internalism/externalism debate. I argue the Craig/Neta proposal does not actually 'solve' the internalism/externalism debate, but rather pushes it back a level or assumes that one side is correct; hence, the Craig/Neta proposal is not an adequate 'solution' to the internalism/externalism debate.

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James McBain
Pittsburg State University

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