Against overconfidence: arguing for the accessibility of memorial justification

Synthese 198 (9):1-21 (2020)
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In this article, I argue that access internalism should replace preservationism, which has been called “a received view” in the epistemology of memory, as the standard position about memorial justification. My strategy for doing so is two-pronged. First, I argue that the considerations which motivate preservationism also support access internalism. Preservationism is mainly motivated by its ability to answer the explanatory challenges posed by the problem of stored belief and the problem of forgotten evidence. However, as I will demonstrate, access internalism also has the resources to provide plausible solutions to those problems. Second, I argue that preservationism faces a couple of problems which access internalism avoids. Doing so, I present a new scenario which, on the one hand, functions as a counterexample to preservationism, and, on the other hand, provides intuitive support for access internalism. Moreover, I also demonstrate how preservationism, in light of recent research in cognitive psychology, is vulnerable to skepticism about memorial justification, whereas access internalism remains unthreatened.

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Jonathan Egeland
University of Agder


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