Hunter Gentry

By William & Mary

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Internalist Common-Sensism: A Better Alternative to Bergmann's Proper Functionalism

Michael Bergmann presents a dilemma for internalists in his book: Justification Without Awareness. He states that an essential part of internalism is higher level awareness requirements on justification, that is, subject S be aware of a justification-contributor X for his belief that P. Awareness can be weak or strong. Strong awareness requires the subject S to justifiably believe that his justification-contributor X is in some way relevant to his belief that P for the belief that P to be justified. Weak awareness does not require justification on the awareness of justification-contributor X or even conceiving of it as relevant to the justification of the belief that P. If strong, then the internalist faces regress problems. If weak, then the internalist is subject to the subject perspective objection, which is the motivation for requiring awareness. The subject perspective objection states that if subject S is aware of the justification-contributor X, as relevant to the justification of her belief that P, then it is not an accident from her perspective that her belief that P is true.  My project is to show that an internalist position, namely Dogmatism, can overcome Bergmann's dilemma and furthermore satisfy conditions for a common-sense epistemology following Reid and Moore.

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