Philosophy | Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology
P760 | 28120 | Kaplan

The Internal and External in Epistemology
Mark Kaplan

We will survey a the epistemological literature with an eye toward
to getting to the bottom of what is at issue between those who
champion an internalist approach to epistemology and those who
champion an externalist approach.  We will begin by going to
Descartes Meditations in which (particularly in the Objections and
Replies) we will see the tension between the two approaches become
apparent.  Next, we will go to the 1940ís and 50ís, where weíll see
two of the prominent students of C. I. Lewis (Roderick Chisholm and
Nelson Goodman) reacting to a similar tension they find in their
teacherís work.  Then weíll fast-forward to the 1970ís, when Alvin
Goldman and Hilary Kornblith launched their famous attacks on the
internalist theories of justification promulgated by Chisholm and
his ilk, and proposed their reliabilist alternatives.  The 1980ís
will provide us with the major counterattack, led by Lawrence
BonJour in his The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.  (And also with
a very different, but important, take on the internal and external
that has played an important role in the work of Barry Stroud.)  We
will then browse the subsequent literature, some of it already
anthologized, some of it in journals, some of it perhaps only now
being written, that has sought to set us right.  The conceit of the
course will be that there is nothing here that cannot be sorted out,
provided we exercise the right sort of care.