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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E pistemology, philosophy of language A theory of epistemic justification , which is opposed to internalism . It denies that the justification of a belief requires the believer to be aware of the cognitive process of the given belief. Internalism, which holds that one must have this awareness, has difficulty in explaining the ascription of knowledge to unsophisticated adults or to young children, and in explaining some classical problems, such as induction . Externalism suggests instead that the nature of a belief is at least partly determined by the surrounding objective world, rather than solely subjectively. Therefore, justification requires the consideration of factors external to one's consciousness. Externalism thus links justification to truth . There are various forms of externalism, and the most influential include reliabilism , which claims that justification depends on the reliability of the cognitive process generating the belief, and probabilism , which claims that justification should be evaluated in terms of probability. In the philosophy of language, externalism claims that to understand a sentence S descriptively is to know under what conditions S is true. “The externalist … insists that a belief can be justified even though the knower is ignorant of that justification.” Maddy, Realism in Mathematics ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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