AuthorMcDowell, Ashley Catherine
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn epistemology, justification is supposed to capture what makes a belief reasonable as opposed to merely true. However, imagine someone in a society where throwing bones to predict the future is completely accepted. Of course this is a terrible way to come to hold beliefs, but if she is being as responsible as she knows how, we want to call her beliefs reasonable or justified in one sense, but not another. In this dissertation, I argue that we should incorporate two separate senses of justification into epistemological theorizing. Many philosophers have discussed two-sense views, but they have contrasted exclusive senses (e.g., a belief is either internally or externally justified), or included one sense within the other (e.g., all objectively justified beliefs must be subjectively justified as well). I am making a novel proposal, distinguishing between two overlapping senses: internal and objective senses of justification. They are independent but not exclusive, so that beliefs can be justified in either way independently, but the conditions for being justified in one sense do not fall completely outside of the conditions f or being justified in the other sense. Basically, a person's belief can be reasonable when considered on the inside or it can be reasonable when considered from an objective, all-things considered point of view . In Chapter One, I survey the internalism/externalism literature, in order to find in it a motivation for finding two senses of justification. I argue that intuitions and differences in use pose a strong motivation for attempting a two-sense view. My second chapter is a methodological one, exploring ways to make linguistic and theoretical arguments for adopting a two-sense view. In Chapter Three, I discuss various ways to disambiguate justification. I argue that the most promising way to make the distinction is between the internal and objective senses. Chapter Five is an argument that the internal/objective distinction has more theoretical utility and explanatory power than either a univocal sense or than other distinctions. The final chapter is an exploration of the implications of the internal/objective two-sense view for the internalism/externalism debate, justification, knowledge, and epistemology as a whole.
Degree ProgramGraduate College