Externalism and Action-Guiding Epistemic Norms
Author: Jacobson, S.
Source: Synthese, Volume 110, Number 3, March 1997 , pp. 343-355(13)
Abstract:In his book, Contemporary Theories of Knowledge, John Pollock argues that all externalist theories of justification should be rejected on the grounds that they do not do justice to the action-guiding character of epistemic norms. I reply that Pollock's argument is ineffective -- because not all externalisms are intended to involve action-guiding norms, and because Pollock does not give a good reason for thinking that action-guiding norms must be internalist norms. Second, I consider rehabilitating Pollock's argument by restricting his conclusion to theories that do involve action-guiding norms and providing a better reason to think that action-guiding norms must be internalist norms. But I claim that if Pollock's argument is made strong enough to rule out all externalisms, it rules out too much, namely, any plausible conception of epistemic norms.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy University of Vermont Burlington, VT 05401 U.S.A.
Publication date: March 1997