Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 32, number 96, diciembre 2000
Internalismo, externalismo y autoconocimiento
[Internalism, Externalism and Self-Knowledge]
Patricia King
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


Abstract: Traditionally the discussion concerning the correct analysis of the concept of epistemic justification has centered around the distinction between internalism and externalism. This distinction presupposes that there is a unique kind of epistemic access we have to our own mental states which is characteristic of those states; an "internal" access, Cartesian in inspiration, according to which physical objects and occurrences, as well as mathematical and logical truths are "external", while mental occurrences and states are "internal". Here I argue that there is not a general and adequate notion of epistemological access applicable to our own mental states and that is suitably "internal" in the aforementioned sense. A consequence of this, as we shall see, is that the internal/external distinction cannot be done in the traditional manner -something which undermines its usefulness to epistemology.
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