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Episteme

Abstract

Internalist considerations are crucial to a good theory of belief formation—epistemic or ethical. To get to this conclusion, the author first shows the insufficiency of a strong externalist account of true belief; he critique’s Plantinga’s reliabilism by way of demonstration. Plantinga’s idea of epistemic warrant shares a maximum ideal with utilitarianism (the desire for the most true beliefs), but the good intentions of the theory are undermined by 1) the author’s car counter-example that illustrates the relevance of internal circumstances, and 2) a realization that Plantinga pays no mind to volition variance. Next, the author analyzes Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski’s virtue ethics and notes its own form of reliabilism but promising internalist account of justification. Despite the fact that both theorists can be used improperly to reward vicious means to ends, such as guessing, Zagzebski’s virtue ethics improves the reliability of Plantinga’s epistemology.

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