PHIL 350A:  Study Questions for Week #6

Internalism and Externalism with respect to Justification


1.  What is internalism with respect to justification?  What is evidentialism (Conee and Feldman)?  What is externalism with respect to justification?  What is reliabilism (Goldman)?  Why is reliabilism a form of externalism with respect to justification?


2.  What is the deontological element in internalism?  What does BonJour mean by being "epistemically irresponsible"?


3.  Explain the following problems for reliabilism:  (a) the Evil Genius (or equivalently, the example of your twin "I-2"); (b) Mr. Truetemp (or, equivalently, Samantha or Norman); (c) the generality problem.


4.  Explain the following problems for internalism about justification:  (a) the intuitive ability of an art critic to spot a fraudulent art work; (b) forgotten evidence; (c) scientific results about the unreliability of introspection.


5.  If internalism is true, do non-human animals and children have knowledge?  Explain.


6.  What is the distinction between animal knowledge and reflective knowledge?  How does it apply to the internalist/externalist debate?


7.  If internalism is true, do normal human beings have much knowledge (e.g., knowledge of the past or future, knowledge of the external world)?  Explain.  What about epistemology students and epistemology professors? 


8.  BonJour claims that all externalist views have the following hypothetical form:  "our beliefs may be justified (in the externalist sense) if in fact they are reliably arrived at, but that we have no reason at all to think that this is so."(237)  What does this mean?  Is it true?


9.  Explain the following distinctions:

(a) internalism/externalism about justification

(b) objective justification/subjective justification (also called strong and weak)

(c) reflective knowledge/non-reflective knowledge (similar to reflective vs. animal)