Virtually all philosophers agree that for a belief to be epistemically justified, it must satisfy certain conditions. Perhaps it must be supported by evidence. Or perhaps it must be reliably formed. Or perhaps there are some other ’good-making’ features it must have. But does a belief’s justification also require some sort of awareness of its good-making features? The answer to this question has been hotly contested in contemporary epistemology, creating a deep divide among its practitioners. Internalists, who tend to focus on scientific or theoretical beliefs as the ideal, insist that such awareness is required for justification. Externalists, who think children’s ordinary beliefs in obvious facts are paradigm cases of justified belief, say it isn’t required. Michael Bergmann’s book offers a decisive refutation of internalism and a sustained defense of externalism.
Princeton University Library