Elusive Externalism

18 Aug 2017

Epistemologists have recently noted a tension between (i) denying access internalism, and (ii) maintaining that rational agents cannot be epistemically akratic, believing claims akin to ‘p, but I shouldn’t believe p’. I bring out the tension, and develop a new way to resolve it. The basic strategy is to say that access internalism is false, but that counterexamples to it are ‘elusive’ in a way that prevents rational agents from suspecting that they themselves are counterexamples to the internalist principles. I argue that this allows us to do justice to the motivations behind both (i) and (ii). And I explain in some detail what a view of evidence that implements this strategy, and makes it independently plausible, might look like.