In my post, "Selling Out" McDowell, I addressed the main methodological objection to my claim that McDowell is a J-internalist. In this post, I will attempt to address what I take to be the primary theoretical objection to this proposal.
But first, what textual evidence do I have for holding that McDowell is a J-internalist? Two of the more suggestive passages are as follows:
I agree…that we lose the point of invoking the space of reasons if we allow someone to possess a justification even if it is outside his reflective reach. [McDowell 1998b, p. 418]And:
[O]ne’s epistemic standing on some question cannot intelligibly be constituted, even in part, by matters blankly external to how it is with one subjectively. For how could such matters be other than beyond one’s ken? And how could matters beyond one’s ken make any difference to one’s epistemic standing? ([McDowell 1998a] p. 390)I interpret the locution ‘how it is with one subjectively’, as an umbrella term for the sorts of things that are typically taken to be internally available to one, such as one’s thoughts, beliefs etc. By McDowell’s lights the circle delineating what is subjectively available to one exhausts that which may serve as a justifier for one’s beliefs.
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