I made a bad mistake and tried to discuss philosophy with some Christian Reconstructionists. I couldn't get them to move beyond sloganeering and cliches. While this post will do nothing to help them, for those who want to grow and mature it should prove helpful.
Internalism in epistemology sees warrant as justification.
- justification is necessary for warrant.
- satisfaction of epistemic duty.
- Descartes: epistemic deontologism.
- formation of belief; hence, internal
- involves a view of cognitive accessibility (36).
- Proper Function
My belief-forming apparatus must be free from cognitive malfunction (Plantinga 4).
They must be in their proper environment (hence, externalism?) . However, functioning properly is not the same thing as functioning normally.
- The environment in which my cognitive faculties are functioning must be similar to that for which they have been designed (11).
- The Design plan
- When our organs function properly, they function in a particular way (13). Our faculties are highly responsive to circumstances.
Warrant: Objections and Refinements
- Gettier: knowledge cannot be just justified, true belief. A fourth condition is necessary. Internalist accounts of warrant are fundamentally wanting, thus the continuing epicycles added to the Gettier problem (32).
- an externalist account of warrant would also take in the “epistemic credentials the proposition you believe has from the person whom you acquired it” (34).
- credulity is valid when it operates under certain conditions:
- Gettier’s problems show that even if internalism meets all of its conditions for knowledge, it can still fail to give knowledge. If my internal cognitive faculties are working, and they arrive at a belief, there are still a number of counters- (ala Gettier) that show it can’t reach knowledge (36-37). As Plantinga notes, “Justification is insufficient for warrant” (36).
Knowledge of the Design Plan
- Knowledge of myself: Any well formed human being who is in an epistemically congenial environment and whose intellectual faculties are in good working order will typically take for granted at least three things: that she has existed for some time, that she has had many thoughts and feelings, and that she is not a thought or feeling(Plantinga 50).
- This can malfunction, however. The cognitive design plan also includes, especially as it relates to testimony, the cognitive situation of the testifiee (83). If they are deluded et al, yet are telling me the truth, do I have warrant? Maybe, maybe not. Plantinga calls these semi-Gettier cases, since Gettier was only trying to show that justification is insufficient for knowledge.
- Further, in the case of testimony, a testimony, particularly one in which knowledge of X is passed down, the last member of the testimony chain will only have warrant if the previous members do (84).
- Therefore, if there is a cognitive malfunction early on in the chain, then the following links in the chain will be suspect.