Even if it might not be true, evidence cannot be false

Philosophical Studies 179 (3):801-827 (2021)
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Wordly internalists claim that while internal duplicates always share the same evidence, our evidence includes non-trivial propositions about our environment. It follows that some evidence is false. Worldly internalism is thought to provide a more satisfying answer to scepticism than classical internalist views that deny that these propositions about our environment might belong to our evidence and to provide a generally more attractive account of rationality and reasons for belief. We argue that worldly internalism faces serious difficulties and that its apparent advantages are illusory. First, it cannot adequately handle some not terribly strange cases of perceptual error. Second, it cannot explain why one should plan to use their evidence to update their beliefs. The second issue allows us to explain why cases of misplaced certainty do not require us to introduce false evidence into our views and that why the alleged advantage of worldly internalism in resisting sceptical pressures is illusory.

Author Profiles

Clayton Littlejohn
Australian Catholic University
Julien Dutant
King's College London


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