PHIL 450

Discussion Questions on externalism and internalism.


1.Explain or distinguish the following terms.You may use examples to do so:

Externalist/Internalist Accounts of Knowledge (or Justification)

World-to-Belief Reliability/Belief-to-World Reliability

Access/Psychological Internalism


2.Gettier describes an example of Smith, Jones, and Brown.†† In that example, what is the justified true belief of Smith that does not qualify as knowledge?Explain.


3.There are two articles by Alvin Goldman.The first is about knowledge; the second is about justified belief.You should be able to explain the following examples and explain their significance for epistemology:

(a) Goldmanís example of Henry and the papier-machť barn facsimiles.

(b) Goldmanís example of brain state B

(c) Goldmanís example of Nelson

(d) Goldmanís example of the twins, Judy and Trudy.

(e) Goldmanís example of Oscar and Dack the dachshund.

(f) Goldmanís example of Jones whose parents tell him that his childhood memories are false.


4.You should be able to explain the following examples from Lehrer and explain their significance for epistemology:

(a) Lehrerís example of Mr. Truetemp.

(b) Lehrerís example of Mr. Raco.


5.Questions on Steup:(a) What is a J-factor?(b) What are examples of J-factors?(c) According to Steup, are J-factors always recognizable on reflection?(d) Steup says that his account of epistemic justification is deontological, evidentialist, and internalist.What does he mean by these terms?(e) Steup discussed Alston's example of a tribe with bad doxastic habits.Explain the example.(f) In discussing this example, Steup argues that "the connection between the pursuit of truth and knowledge, and the doxastic practices conducive to that goal is transparent."What does this mean?Is it true?


6.In the second Goldman article, Goldman defends a reliabilist account of epistemic justification.Goldman gives the example of Nelson to illustrate a problem with certain accounts of a priori justification. What is the problem?How does Goldman propose to fix the problem?


7.What does Goldman mean by an unconditionally reliable belief forming process?What does he mean by a conditionally reliable belief forming process?


8.What is BonJourís metajustificatory requirement for standards of epistemic justification?


9.From Gilovich:(a) What is the Lake Woebegone effect?(b) What is the confirmation bias? (c) What are self-serving beliefs?


10.For each of the authors on the following list, state whether their epistemology is top-down or bottom-up and explain:

††††††††††† (a) Gettier

††††††††††† (b) Goldman

††††††††††† (c) Steup.