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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 8082
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   Content externalism and internalism/externalism debate in justification theory
  Author(s):  H. Vahid
  Status:   Published
  Journal: European Journal of Philosophy
  Vol.:  11
  Year:  2003
  Pages:   89-107
  Supported by:  IPM
  Abstract:
According to content externalism facts about our social and physical environments affect the individuation conditions of the contents of certain of our thoughts. Justification internalism, on the other hand, is the view that imposes an accessibility constraint on beliefs' justifiers. With a few exceptions, the question of what bearing content externalism has on the internalism/externalism debate in justification theory has been generally treated as a side issue. In this paper, I begin by considering some of the arguments that have sought to address this question, focusing mainly on Boghossian�s pioneering attempt in bringing the issue to the fore. It will be argued that Boghossian�s argument for the incompatibility of content externalism and justification internalism fails. In the course of this examination, I consider and reject as inadequate some recent responses to Boghossian�s argument (due to James Chase) as well as Chase�s own proposed argument for the incompatibility conclusion. Finally, having discussed BonJour�s terse remarks in this connection, I set out to present, what I take to be, the strongest argument for the incompatibility of content externalism and justification internalism while highlighting the controversial character of one of its main premises.

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