Abstract

In his book The Structure of Empirical Knowledge, Laurence Bonjour criticizes advocates of externalist versions of foundationalism. According to Bonjour, "externalism reflects an inadequate appreciation of the problem at which it is aimed."l With this in mind, Bonjour sets out to argue that externalism is not an acceptable theory for the foundationalist to appeal to in his attempt to solve the regress problem. In order to avoid a complete stalemate over doctrine, Bonjour's attempt to argue that externalism is unacceptable proceeds as an appeal to intuition. As such he allows that"although this intuition may not constitute a conclusive objection to the view, it is enough... to place the burden of proof squarely on the externalist." Bonjour's criticism is aimed at the externalist conception of justification. I contend that Bonjour's demand of proof can be met by the externalist. Moreover, as I shall argue, the proper conception of justification involves the use of both internalist and externalist requirements. To establish my contention I shall draw the internalist/externalist distinction with regard to justification and examine the intuitive strengths of each. Having completed these tasks we shall find that a proper epistemology incorporates a level distinction between non-epistemological claims on the first level and epistemological claims on the second level. Justification on the first level, I shall argue, warrants externalist requirements, while justification on the second level warrants internalist requirements.

Disciplines

Epistemology | Philosophy



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Epistemology Commons

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