Here's an argument against internalism that Bergmann defends in the first half of his recent book, Justification without Awareness.An essential feature of internalism is that it makes a subject's actual or potential awareness of some justification-contributor a necessary condition for the justification of any belief held by that subject.
The awareness required by internalism is either strong awareness or weak awareness.
If the awareness required by internalism is strong awareness, then internalism has vicious regress problems leading to radical skepticism.
If the awareness required by internalism is weak awareness, then internalism is vulnerable to the SPO, in which case internalism loses its main motivation for imposing the awareness requirement.
If internalism either leads to radical skepticism or loses its main motivation for imposing the weak awareness requirement (i.e. avoiding the SPO), then we should not endorse internalism.
Therefore, we should not endorse internalism.
Since we should endorse internalism, at least one of the premises of his argument is false. If given enough time, I would argue that 1, 3, and 5 are dubious, if not false. Probably the best way to respond to Bergmann would be to focus on what is wrong with premise 1. Any thoughts from others who have read Bergmann's book?(I know I haven't explained his terms (strong/weak awareness, SPO, etc), but given my current time constraints, this is the best I can do for now. Feel free to ask questions in the comments, and I'll answer them as I have time.)
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | | 1 Comments
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