Sei sulla pagina 1di 19
E SSAY 18 Knowled ge and the Int ernal' 1. I a m going to
E SSAY
18
Knowled ge and the Int ernal'
1. I a m going to wo rk wit h a n idea from W ilfrid Sellars, t ha t
know ledge-a t least as enj oyed by rationa l anima ls- is a c ertain sort
o f stan ding in t he space of reasons.' M y conc ern is a fam iliar p hilo -
sophical d ialectic, w hich I s hall app roach in te rms of w hat h appens
t o th e Sellarsian idea w hen t he image of standings in th e spac e of
r easons u ndergoes a ce rtai n d eforma tion. Th at it is a deformation is
so mething we can learn
tic is.
from how un satisfacto ry th e familiar dia lec-
2. The deformat ion is
an interio rizat ion o f th e space of reaso ns, a
withdrawa l of it from th e externa l wo rld. This happens w hen we
s u ppose w e ough t to be ab le t o achieve flaw less s tand ings in the
1.1 first de l ivered this essay in t he 1989190 lecture series of the Cen ter for the Philoso -
p hy of Science a t th e University of Pittsburgh . I presented an ancesto r to a conf e renc e o n
Belief and Knowledge in Albi, France , i n J uly 19 8 1. Cllarleli Trav is c ommented h elpf ully
on t he an cestor, and Simon BJackbum on a r evised version o f i t. A less di stant d escendan t
o f so me of that material forms part of Essay 17 abo ve. M ore recen tly, I h ave benefited
f rom co n versatio ns w ith jonath a n Dan cy; from romment s on a mo re recen t d r ah by
Roben Brandom; and f rom the r espon ses of a udiences at Ohio State University , Ha verford
CoIkgc, and t he Chape l Hi ll Co lloq u i um, espec ia lly Robert K raut, L Arych Kosman, and
J ay R osenberg. Ro bert Brandom ' s r espon se at t h e Chape l H ill Co lloquiu m ha s been pu b-
Iished as " Know ledge and the Social Articulati on of the Space of Reasons".
2 . " In characterizing an episode or a state as t hat [better: one) of know ing, we a r e n ot
giv ing a n e mpirica l desc ri pti on of t ha t ep isode o r state; w e arc plac ing it in th e logi cal
spac e of r ea son s, of ju stifying and be ing ab le to ju stify what on e sa ys"
and
t h e Ph ilosop hy of Mind", p . 298-9) . I put in t he
t hat a co ncept o f know ledge
might be a pplied to
parenthcrical q u alification so a s to a llow
non - r ationa l animal s too; b ut noth ing in
t hi s ess ay wil l depend o n tha t.
396 IS S UES I N E P IS T E MO LOG Y space
396 IS S UES I N E P IS T E MO LOG Y
space o f re asons by o ur o wn un aided r esources,
with out n eeding th e
w orld t o do u s an y favour s.
Co nsider the Argum ent
from IlJusion . Seeing, o r perh aps h aving
seen. that thin gs are thus a nd so would be an e pistemically sa tisfac-
t o ry
st and ing in th e space o f reaso ns. But when I see that things a re
thu s a nd so , I t ake i t that thin gs are thus a nd so o n th e basis o f h av-
ing it look to me as if thin gs a re thu s and so . And it ca n look t o me
a s if things a re thus a nd so when th ey are no t; a ppearances do n ot
g ive me the r e sources t o e nsure that I take thin gs to be thu s a nd so,
o n th e basis o f appea ra nces, o nly when thing s a re indeed thu s and
so.
If things are ind eed thu s a nd so wh en th ey seem t o be, th e wo rld
is
d oing me a favour . So if I w ant to r estrict my self t o s tandings in
th
e
spa ce o f r easons w hose flawlessness I ca n e nsure wi tho ut ex ter -
n al help, I m ust go n o further than ta king it th at it looks t o me as if
things ar e thu s a nd s o.
On e might h ope that thi s inward re treat is o nly tem pora ry. T ake a
particul ar ca se in whi ch it look s to me as if thin gs a re a c erta in way .
H things ar e indeed th at wa y. that is-so
far -a fa vour
the w orld is
d oing m e. Th e h ope is th at I might sta rt fr om the fact th at thin gs
look th at way t o me ; a dd in a nything e lse th at the grou nd rul es all ow
me to a vail m yself o f. i f it helps; a nd m ove fr om there. by
unaided r esour ces, w ithout n eeding t he w orld t o d o me any
m y own
favours,
t o a sa tisfactory sta nding in th e space o f re asons with r espect t o the
fact th at the w orld is arr anged the w ay it loo ks. And n ow that w ould
n o longer be a fav our th e w orld is d oing me , a kindn ess I must s im -
pl y h ope fo r. No wIw ould
ha ve a d erivatively
sa tisf actory s tan ding
in th e s pace o f r easons, w ith respect t o the fact that thi ngs ar e as
they lo ok , th at I ac hieved by m yself w itho ut n eeding t o be ind ebted
t o th e w orld.
Anyone w ho kn ow s the dre ary histor y o f e pistemology kn ows th at
thi s h ope is r ather faint . That wiU matter in du e c ou rse, but it d oes
n ot m atter for what I a m d oing n ow, wh ich is s imply r emi nding you,
in perh aps slightly unfamil iar term s. o f a
familiar epi stemologi s ts'
synd rome .
Of co urse perc epti on co uld n ot yield US st andings in the s pace of
reaso ns a t a ll with out so me ind ebtedn ess t o the w orld . The pos ition I
am describin g d oes no t inv olve
c ould give u s k nowledge o f the
th e fa ntasy th at pure u naided r eason
ex ternal w orld . with out o ur needi ng
th e wo rld to o blige us by a ffording ap pearan ces. The th ought is th at
Knowledge a nd th e Intern al 397 w e need n o o utside
Knowledge a nd
th e Intern al
397
w e need n o o utside he lp in av oiding being led astray by whatever ap -
pearances the world is kind en ough to affo rd us .
The Argument from Ill usion is of course familiar in the episte m o-
logy o f percepti on . But a n arg ument with th e
same structure is
tempting w henever it ca n seem r ight to say tha t we need a favo ur
fr om th e w o rld if there is to be app licatio n for a locution of th e re le-
vant ki nd: a loc uti on that be longs with "see t h at
" in that it is
ep isremic a nd thereby factive . Th is will be so w henever appearances
can be mi s leading, in s uc h a way th at o ne cannot b lame t heir poten-
tia l for decep ti on o n d efects in how one has conducted ones elf in the
s pace o f r easons . What is a t fau lt must th en
be th e unkind ness of th e
world . And when an appearance is n ot mis leading, th at is, corre -
s po nding ly, a favo ur from the wo rld. Whe never we h ave that struc -
ture, it wi ll seem th at the epl s temic pos ition signa lled by t he origi nal
locution can be at best derivative; th e true s tarting-poi nt in the space
of r easons m ust be so meth ing commo n to t he favourab le an d th e
po -
ten tially m isleading case s (like hav ing it look
thu s and SO) .3
to one as if t hin gs
are
Factive locuti on s that are vulnerab le t o t hi s t reatmen t include " re-
member th at
" (with " seem t o remember that " as th e upshot
of th e retreat), and " learn fr om so -and-so th at " (with "hear so -
and - so say
stance may
that
" as the
upsh ot o f th e retrea t )." A negative in -
h elp to make th e point clear: c onsider
"prove th at
Suppose o ne is s ubject t o a mi s leading
a ppearance tha t one h as a
proof of so met h ing . In t hat ca se, sure l y, one must h ave m iscon -
3 . I am deliberate ly lea ving t he idea of blameworthiness., in one 's moves i n the s pace o f
reasons., u n specific. If sornt<lI'e arrives a t a bIsc be lief h om which she would hav e been
dereered b y some i n vestiga ti on
probabi lity o f ov errurning l he
sh e choK not to enpge in because o f its h igh CC5t an d low
o lhe r evidence, i s she bla mew orthy ? Different answers are
poa i ble. BUI no
reawn.a ble i nterprn at ion
of th e idea o f doxasr:ic obIiga rions cou ld mak e
f alse hood i n an em pirical bel ief sh o w, all
by itse lf, t ha t an obl igation has n Ol been met.
That is the c mt ral insigh t (a genuine i n s ighl , even t hou gh it is typically m ishandled ) of the
f amiliar
ge nre o f
phi losophy acco rd ing 10 wh ich empi rica l kn owledge is pr oblematic . I
w ant to foclI$ on this ga p, nea rly un iversally ac kno w ledged, between do xasric blameless-
neSll in a se nse that connec t s w ith doxa s lic o b liga rion, o n the ant: hand, and e m p i r ical
k nowledge , on the othe r, wi thou t being d ist r acted by det ails a bout how dcxasoc
blame-
lessn ess sho uld be unde rstood . (Th e epi stemo l ogical ou tloo k I s ha ll r ecom mend should
make such questi ons see m less ur sern . )
4 . In
the case o f testi mony , o ne is l it erall y d one a favour b y an infonnaJll. But the re will
have 10 be,l1gurati vdy, a f.av oor fr om the w or ld a t so me point in l he epiSlemic ancestry of
a piece of knowledge by resrimon y. (At leaSl
something tha t ha s been pr o ved; sec t he t ext
o utside th e a rea o f, for i n stance, being IOId of
below.]

398 ISSUES IN EPISTEMOLOGY

ducted oneself in the space of reasons; it cannot be that the world is the only thing one can blame for what has gone wrong.'

3. I spoke of hoping that the inward retreat is only temporary, and

I suggested that the hope is faint. I think this is true in all the appli- cations, but I shall stick to perception to bring out what this implies. One need not restrict oneself to the particular perceptual appear- ance whose credentials are in question. I allowed that one could add

in anything else that might help, if it is available according to the ground rules. Here we might think of surrounding appearances and background knowledge. (It will emerge that it is open to doubt whether the ground rules make any background knowledge avail- able, but we can let that pass at this stage.) Clearly one is not stuck with simply believing, come what may, that things are as they appear . One can refine one's policies or habits of basing beliefs on appearance, taking more and more circum- stances into account, with a view to improving the proportion of truths to falsehoods in their output. And it is not just that one can engage in this refining procedure. Surely reason positively requires one to do so. If it turns out to be an effect of interiorizing the space of reasons that we become unable to make sense of this critical func- tion of reason, we ought to conclude that the very idea of the space of reasons has become unrecognizable. I think that is what turns out; I want to bring that out by giving the idea of something that is both

5 . This is essentially the feature of proof (or computation) that Crispin

Wright aims to

generalize , in his a ccount of what it is to have verified a statement ("Strict Finitism", pp. 210-18). Wright strangely combines an understanding of this feature of proof (or computation) with applying the Argument from Illusion even here. He writes (p. 210): "If arithmetical computation is to be a paradigm of verification, then to be entitled to claim to have verified a stat ement cannot be to be entitled to claim a conclusive, indefeasible war-

rant for its assertion; for the most pa instaking and careful execution of a computation confers no guarantee that is correct." This is in effect a form of the familiar retreat (in re- spect of what warrants one's assertion) , from "I have proved that it is so" (which, if true, surely equips one with a conclusive, indefeasible warrant ) to "I have before me what, on painstaking and careful inspection, appears to be a proof that it is so ". To suppose that this retreat is required is to miss the significance of the fact that if I am misled in such a case, the fault is in my moves in the space of reasons, not in the world. I suppose it is be-

cause Wright thinks math ematical proof and empirical verification are

on a par in respect

of vulnerability to the Argument from Illusion (and so in respect of the defeasibility of available warrants) that he thinks h e can model empirical verification on mathematical verification without r isking an undue concession to scept icism. (In effect Wright is com-

mitted to withholding, in respect of empirical verification, the acknowledgement that in n. 3 above I described as nearly universal.) I think the epistemology of empirical knowl- edge that results is disastrous; I try to bring this out in Essay 16 above.

Knowledge and the Internal 399 interiorized and still recognizably the space of reasons a run
Knowledge and the Internal
399
interiorized and still recognizably the space of reasons a run for its
money.
So we are to try to reconstruct the epistemic satisfactoriness im-
plicit in the idea of seeing that things are thus and so, using the fol-
lowing materials: first, the fact that it looks to a subject as if things
are that way; second, whatever further circumstances are relevant
(this depends on the third item); third, the fact that the policy or
habit of accepting appearances in such circumstances is endorsed by
reason, in its critical function, as reliable. And now the trouble is
this: unless reason can come up with policies or habits that will
never lead us astray, there is not enough here to add up to what we
were trying to reconstruct. Seeing that things are thus and so is a po-
sition that one cannot be in if things are not thus and so. Given that
one is in that position, it follows that things are thus and so. And if
reason cannot find policies or habits that are utterly risk-free, the re-
constructing materials cannot duplicate that. However careful one is
in basing belief on appearances, if one's method falls short of total
freedom from risk of error, the appearance plus the appropriate cir-
cumstances for activating the method cannot ensure that things are
as one takes them to be.
There are various possible responses to this point. The one I re-
commend is that we should jettison the whole approach to knowl-
edge that structures epistemology around the Argument from Illu-
sion. I shall mention three others.
Obviously one response is scepticism. In my Sellarsian framework,
I can put the sceptical response like this. An epistemically satisfac-
tory position would have to be a standing in the space of reasons-
Sellars is right about that. But the argument I have just sketched
shows that we cannot reconstruct a standing in the space of reasons,
suitable to amount to knowledge, with respect to the fact that things
are as they perceptually appear. So it must be a mistake to think we
can achieve knowledge through perception. This thought clearly gen-
eralizes, in a way that matches the generalization of the Argument
from Illusion.
A second response would be to claim that there must be policies or
habits of basing belief on appearance that are utterly risk-free. It is
obvious how this response might be attractive, in the context of the
threat of scepticism; but I do not think it has any plausibility in its
own right. It would express a rather touching a priori faith in the
power of human reason to devise fully effective protections against
4 00 I S S U E S I N E P ISTE MOLOGY the
4 00
I S S U E S I N E P ISTE MOLOGY
the d eceptive capac ities o f appea rance. No do ubt it wo uld s u it Ou r
va nity , o r at lea st help u s fee l sa fe, if we co uld s up pose o ur reason
h ad s uch power, but obvio usly th at is n o gro und to believe i t is so; in
fact i t is a gro und to be s uspicio us of th e idea. (I s hall r eturn t o a
point of thi s son later. )'
A thi rd response is ( 0
kee p th e Sellarsian idea
I began w ith, in its
interi ori zed form, b ut on ly as one el ement i n a com posite co nceptio n
of kno wledge; we are to a dd an exte rna l e lement in o rder t o cope:
with the p roblem I a m co ns idering. The u pshot is a pos ition t hat
loo ks l ike t his. At least fo r r ational anima ls, a s atis fa ct o r y sta nding
in t he space o f reasons is a n ecessa ry conditio n for know ledge. But
s ince th e pos itions one ca n reac h by b lameless m oves i n th e space o f
reason s are n ot facti ve, a s ep istemically satis factory posit ions are, a
satis factory
sta nding in the s pace of reaso ns canno t be w hat kn owl -
edge is .? R ather, kn ow ledge is a sta tus o n e po ssesses b y virt ue
of an
a
pp ropria te sta nding i n th e space o f r easons w hen- this is an
extra
con ditio n, no t e nsu red by o ne's stand ing in th e space o f r eason s-c-ehe
wo rld does one th e favo ur o f being so ar range d t hat w hat o ne t ak es
t o be so is so.
It ca lls for c omment th at t he extern al a d dition I a m envisaging is
th e fa miliar t ruth requ irem ent for kn owledge, th at w hat o ne ta kes t o
be so is i ndeed so . This figures, i n th e pos ition I
a m cons idering, a s a
necessary extra co nditi on for kno wledge, over a nd abo ve th e best
o ne ca n hav e in the way of reli ability i n a po licy or h a bit of ba s ing
belief o n ap pearance. S uch rel iability figu res in th e h ybrid pos itio n I
a m c on sid erin g a s p art of its in te rna l app ara tus: as some thing t o be
t aken int o accou nt w hen o ne d etermin es, wi thin th e space of
reasons
conceived in t he int eriorized way, w he ther a s ta nding in th at s p ace is
a ccepta ble .
6 . It is impoetan r n or to assume I ha t, in rei ecting this response, I am making unav ai l -
able t he oorn mon- sense t hce ghr rhal
we
so metimes kn ow how t h i ngs ate by seeing how
Ih ey a re. Th a i wou kl be so on ly if the episte mic S1at us o f such know ledge had to con sis t in
the excdlmo;:e of ;;l policy ()( h abit of
basing bel ief 00 appearance. focused
a s it we re on t he
panicu lar case a t hand . Bur m at assu mpti on is simply a form of w h at is under att ac k . (The
S1atus c on sists, rather,
in t he fact
that one sees
tha i l hingi are so . )
7 . On " blarne !cu" , see n. J a bove. H owever prec isely it is s pe l led out, the idea of
b1amew o n hinc:ss that we need must be long w ith an XIea o f o b liga tionl as within one's
power to discharge, on pain of losing con tact wilh the poin t o f intCfiori zing the space o f
r eason s. So it is n Ol to l he poin t here 10 sugges t t h ar one ca n be blamed for ;;I false belief
based on apPearance iUS! beca use of its false h ood, o n the an alogy o f th e idea
be blamed fOt" unin tended comcquences o f one 's in ttm io n a l acts .
tha t on e can

Knowledge and the Internal

401

o f re liability may seem s urprising. in view

o f th e fa ct that reliability is part of th e s tock in tr ade o f full-blown

externali sr a pproaches to kn owledge. But th e po int of full-blown e x- ternali st a pproaches is t o reject the Sellarsian idea I began with , not t o in cor porate it as p art of a n account of kn owledge. a s in th e hy brid appr oach I a m co nsidering. According t o a full -blown e xrerna lisr a p-

pro ach, kno wledge ha s

r easons; kn owledge is a sta te o f th e knower, linked t o th e st ate o f af -

fairs kn own in s uch a way th at the kn ower's bei ng in th at s tate is a reliable indicator that the st ate o f a ffairs o btains. In th e p urest form o f this a pproach. it is a t m ost a matter o f s uperficial id iom that w e d o not a ttri bute kn owledge t o pro perly functi oning rhermometers .f N ow from th e fact that the concept o f reliabili ty pla ys thi s exte rnal role in an a pproach that simply rejects qu estions a bout the kn ower 's positi on i n the s pace of reasons. it clearly d oes n ot follow th at wh en we m ove to a n app roach that doe s no t reject s uch que stions (al- th ough. being hybrid, it insists th at th ey d o n ot exh aust th e iss ues th at need to be a ddressed). the c oncept mu st still be conceived as o p- er ating o utside th e s pace o f r easons. And th e p oint I m ade earli er sta nds: if a purported picture of the s pace of re asons m akes no r oom

ra ising qu estions abou t th e re lia-

b ility o f thi s o r th at policy or habit of be lief-formation, the

picture

for the critical functi on o f r eason in

n othing t o do w ith po sitions in the s pace o f

Thi s internal placement

ca nnot be w hat it pu rports t o be. So it wo uld be a mistake t o s up- p ose that reliabili ty must be ext ernal in a hybrid a pproach. just be- cause it fi gures in full-blown externali st a pproaches. Reliability must operate in th e internal r eaches of a hybrid a pproach. on pain o f the internal element' s becoming unre cognizable as what it was s upposed

t o be . 9 The p roblem with the resources th at a re av ailable in a n inreri - o rized conception o f the s pace o f rea sons is th at, even includin g th e

duplicate

best th at ca n be h ad in the w ay o f r eliability. they cann ot

the factiveness o f epistemically sa tisfactory pos itions. So it is p re-

8. If a f ull-blown e xtema lisr approach p reserves e pistemological r elevanc e for a concep t

o f justification, il is c ertai nly not on e that fu nctions as in the q uotation from Sella rs in n. 2

a bove.

9. For a n e xam p le o f the ki nd o f h ybrid acco unt o f kn owledge t hat I am h e r e,

see Ch ristc pber Peacocke , Th oughts: An BsIzy on Content , c haps. 9 a nd 10, especially

o f knowl -

edge, one t hat al so imposes an int ernal c onditi on in volving r ationality . is some thing s imilar in Simon Blackbur n, " Knowledge, Truth , an d Reiiabiliry " , pp . 17 8-9 (al though o n pp . 179-80 Bla ckburn comes dose 10 acknowledging the int e rnal impo rtance o f co n s ider- a tions o f re liability].

pp . 153-5 . Peacocke has as an ex tern al ingredienr in a hybrid acco unt

4 02 I S S U ES I N EP ISTEMOLOGY cisely th e truth
4 02
I S S U ES I N EP ISTEMOLOGY
cisely th e truth req uirement th at
ce iving as an externa l co ndition
t hese con s iderations m otiva te con -
tha t needs to be added to interna l
r equir em ents fo r kn owl ed ge .P
4 . This h ybrid c o nception o f kn owl edge h as a n ev ident insta bility,
in th e way it separa tes tr uth, w hich figures as a n ex terna l element,
fro m reliability in po licies or
h abits
o f belief-formati o n , w hich f ig-
ures as a n internal e lement . Th e truth r equ ir ement h a s to be an
a dded externa l element, beca use th e inreri orization of th e space of
r eas on s m e an s t hat th ere ca nno t be stan din gs in th at sp ace th at sim -
p ly cons ist in a cogni tive p ur chase o n an ob jective fact, fo r in sta nce
s om ethin g th at o ne pe rceives t o be so, o r r emem bers co h ave bee n so .
But if th ere canno t be s uch s ta ndin gs in th e space o f r eason s, h o w
t o. Blac kburn, Tru th , and R d ia bility" , su pposes that there is some dttp
e rr o r in in sin ing th ai a knower must be in a n inform atio n al Slat r th at exc luda al l possi-
bility t hat m ings are not a5 he ta k es them to be (a "g uaran tering" in form a t ional mu: ). ln
react i on to t hat, he cl a ims t hat t itb t o k nowledge m ust be de fens i b le " in t he face o f an
open, acknow ledged, possi b ility t hat tht;
w orld m igh t not: be a5 we haye come t o tak e i t t o
be" (p. 179 ). Th is acoou nt for t he fact that he seems nd ev en to co ns ider t he t rut h r e-
quirement II an exte rna l condi tion 00 k now kdge . But re ject ing t h e idea that a kn ower 's
in fo rmati onal sta te is " guaran teeing " loo ks to me l ike r ejectin g a p iece of plain rornmo n
sense , t hat o ur locu ti o ns mar ki ng e piste micaUy sat isfacto ry pos it ions ( "sec t hat
" r e -
member that
a nd t he l ike) a re
faa iye. Th at t his is disast r ous sh ows u p i n Blackbu rn ' s
positi ve proposa l , t hat one kn ows w hen no re al pvui bility ("chance") t hat t hings a re
not
as one tak es t hem to be is le ft open
by
of t he retr eat su pPClStdly forced by th e
on e's informa t iona l sta re. conceived as the upsh ot
Arg umen t f rom ll1usion-a n " indica t ive" seate, as
opposed to a "gcaran teeing" stare . Black burn a pp lies thi s a ecoun r of knowledge to the
genera l hypot
heses on w hich skeprical arguments trade (such as tha t oee is a bra in i n a
vat ); the r esul t is tha t w heth er Qnt coun ts as kn owing m a t suc h hypotheses do not o btain
depends on w ho has tht; onus o f proof i n a di sput e wit h a Kqlt ic . But given h ow t hings
look t o some one on an y part icular occasion (and a n y other ci rcums tances d llt might be
re levant t o reason 's decisioo as t o whether bel ievins tha t m ings a r e t h at w ay is extf'Cising
a r elia ble policy or habi t ). there
is sure ly a real possibi lity th at things arc: no t th a t way .
Tha t is jusr the point t ha t (to pu t it in m y te rms ) bl ameless n ess in the space o f reasons docs
not ensure facti veness in t he position tha t resu lts . In Blackburn ' s terms, mislea ding percep-
tual a ppearances, wi t hou t su rro undin g cl ues t o t he i r ar e am ong "the kinds
o f rhil1g$ th a t happe n " [ p,
185 ). Th is po in t generalizes t o ot he r " ind ica t ive" s ta res. So
ev en if Blackburn ach ieves an on u Hwappi ng sta ndoff wit h the k ind of scr: p:ic w ho at -
t e m pts to wield general scr:prica l hypot heses ro undermine whole regions o f k no wledge a ll
a t once. his p icture wi ll deprive us o f pretty muc h the same kn owledg e. on ly piece by
p iece. If we deny o ursel ves a "gu ata ntering " co nceptio n o f a
put ati ve knower' s i n f orma '
tion al seate, th e re will alway s be pt rfcctly real po5Si bilities (not t he sceptic' s argua b ly
u nreal possibilit ies) tha t h e is wro ng , given t he lesser in formationa l sta te we ar e commit-
red t o l imiti ng hi m t o . Blac kburn simp ly m isses thi s poi nt; he: conc rnt rates on t he genera l
scept ical h ypotheses., as if t bere coul d be no threat to o r dinary know ledge claims e xcept
from t he m .

Knowledge and the Internal

403

can reason have the resources it would need in order to evaluate the reliability of belief-forming policies or habits? If we press this ques- tion. the idea that something can be both interiorized in the way I am considering and recognizably a conception of the space of rea-

sons starts to unravel, as I have already hinted that

it would .

I shall return to that point; meanwhile I want to urge another problem about the hybrid conception of knowledge. In the hybrid conception. a satisfactory standing in the space of reasons is only part of what knowledge is; truth is an extra requirement . So two subjects can be alike in respect of the satisfactoriness of their stand- ing in the space of reasons. although only one of them is a knower, because only in her case is what she takes to be so actually so. But if its being so is external to her operations in the space of reasons, how

can it not be outside the reach of her rational powers? And if it is outside the reach of her rational powers, how can its being so be the crucial element in an intelligible conception of her knowing that it is so-what makes the relevant difference between her and the other subject? Its being so is conceived as external to the only thing that is supposed to be epistemologically significant about the knower her- self, her satisfactory standing in the space of reasons. That standing is not itself a cognitive purchase on its being so; it cannot be that if the space of reasons is interiorized. But then how can the uncon- nected obtaining of the fact have any intelligible bearing on an epi- stemic position that the person's standing in the space of reasons is supposed to help constitutes How can it coalesce with that standing to yield a composite story that somehow adds up to the person's being a knower? One way to appreciate what I am driving at here is to consider the familiar point that true belief need not amount to knowledge. Why not? A good simple answer is that mere truth in a belief leaves it open that the believer has hold of the truth by accident, and knowl- edge excludes that. Now in the hybrid conception of knowledge, it is admittedly not a complete accident, relative to someone's standing in the space of reasons, if things are as she takes them to be; the posi- tion of her belief in the space of reasons makes it likely to be true. But the reason why the extra stipulation that the be lief is true-what is distinctive of the hybrid approach-is needed is that likelihood of truth is the best that the space of reasons yields, on the interiorized conception of it: the closest we can come to factiveness. The extra

404 I SSU E S I N E P ISTE MO LOG Y t ha
404 I SSU E S I N E P ISTE MO LOG Y
t ha t we need for
o ne o f th ose in
kn ow ledge-t he fact th at th e case in qu estion is n ot
which a lar ge l y r eliable ha bit o r po licy o f belief-
form atio n lead s the s ubject astra y-c-i s, rel ative t o th e kn ower's m oves
in th e spa ce o f r easons, a s tro ke
o f g ood fortun e . a
fav our th e wo rld
d oes her . So if we t ry t o pictur e e pistemic s tatu s as co n stitut e d in
th e way th e h ybrid co nceptio n ha s it, we a re vuln erabl e t o a version
o f th e familiar po int
th at distin guis h es kn owled ge from
m ere t r ue
belief.
I thi nk t he mor al o f
thi s is t hat if we ca nn o t see o ur w ay t o ac cept -
ing the Sellarsia n idea in full , we s ho uld reject it, as in fu ll-bl own ex -
t ernali st acco unts . It
is n o t a good idea t o s u ppose a sa ti s fa ctory
sta nding in th e s pace o f re ason s might be part b ut n ot th e wh ole o f
wh at kn owled ge is.
5. A hybr id co nception o f kn owledge is o ften ta ken t o be o bvi-
O U5 . 11 But in the l ight o f w hat I h ave just argued , I think th is d epend s
on not thinkin g dir ect ly abo ut
the co nceptio n 's e pis temo logical c re-
d entia ls . Wh at mak es th e h ybrid co nceptio n see m o bvious is that,
leaving a side t he fu ll-b lown externali sm a cc ordin g t o whi ch stan d-
in gs in the s pace o f r ea son s ar e irr e levant to kn owledge, thi s view o f
kno w ledge seems t o
be th e o nl y a lterna tive t o sc epticism . But thi s is
o ne o f th ose set -u p s th at a re fam iliar in phil osop h y, in which a s up-
posed ly ex haustive c hoice co nfers a s purious plausibility o n a phil o-
so phical pos itio n . Th e a pparent pl ausibi lity is not intrin sic t o th e p0-
s itio n, b ut r eflects a n a ssum ed framework; when one loo ks a t th e
po sition o n its o wn, th e p lausibi lity c rumb les away, o r so I h ave
tried t o s uggest.
ass umption that
In s uch a s itu a tio n , the thin g to d o is to qu ery th e
seem s t o force the c hoice . And in th is case , th e cu l-
prit is the interi orized co nception o f th e s pace o f reasons .
I have descr ibed t h at co nceptio n i n a wa y that equip s it with an in-
telligib le mo tivation . The a im is t o pi cture r easo n as having a pr oper
11 . When dou ble-aspect views of oont mt . i nvo lving menm l stateS we re a n ovelty, it
used to be routi ne to c ite the supposed ly obv ious c omposi l eness of k ll(lwkdgt' as an al -
r ead y fami liar pa ralle l See , e.g. , Da n iel C Dennen, "Beyond Bel ief', pp . 11-1 2; and
Co li n M cG inn, uThc: Stroo:tun: of
Coeeen r", p . 21 5 . I n query ing 1M creden tia l s o f a hybr id
conce ption of k now ledge, I mean
to do more t h a n remov e a n exposi tory prop from u nder
r bose double-aspect vi ews; I be lieve t hat d irect extension s o f t he co nside rations in rhis
essay
show l hat t hose vie ws miss the poin t of t he oonceptu a l a ppa ra tuS they a im 10 ex -
pl ai n-I s ha ll noc be able to elabora te thi s here , th o ugh it will be close to t he su rface in S6.

Knowledge and the Int ernal

405

pr ovince in w hich it ca n be immune t o the effects o f luck; not in the se nse o f s heer c hance. but in the se nse o f factors that r eason c annot control. o r co ntrol for. The idea is that r eason ca n e nsure that we hav e o nly acceptable standings in the s pace of r easo ns, with out being ind ebted t o the w orld for favour s r eceived; if we exe rcise reason pr op erly, we cannot arrive at defective s tandings in the space of rea- so ns, in a way that could o nly be expl ained in terms of the world' s unkindn ess.P The upshot o f thi s int eri orizati on is that kn owledge o f the ext ernal world cann ot be co mpletely co nstituted b y standin gs in th e s pace o f reasons. The h ybrid view co ncedes th at s uch kn owledge is partly a matter o f luck in the relevant sense. so mething o utside th e

co ntrol o f re ason. Th e h ope is th at this a dmission

a ble. be cause it co mes o nly aft er w e have credited

o f luck is t oler - reason with full

co ntro l o ver whether o ne's sta ndings in the space of rea sons a re s at- isfactory.P

It seems clear where o ur s uspicions s ho uld attach them selves. Al-

th ough the m otivation I h ave s u ggested for reasons is int elligible, it is s urely so mething

The hybrid view 's co ncession t o lu ck, tagged o n t o a pi cture

so n a s self -sufficient within it s o wn proper provin ce, co mes t oo lat e.

o f r ea-

we o ught t o find s uspect .

interi orizing the s pace o f

Th e

very id ea o f r eason a s having a sphere o f o peration within whi ch

it is

ca pable o f en suring, without being beholden t o the

world, that

o ne's pos tu res are a ll right-like the o bvious a nalogues

o f th is

idea

so me-

thin g w e spin t o console ourselv es for the palpabl e limits o n o ur

power s."

T o av oid fanta sy, we w ould n eed t o see o ur way t o a ccepting that

we ca nnot

ce ives a s a quit e alien factor. the kindn ess o f the w orld, as a contrib- ut or t o o ur co ming to occup y ep istemically sa tisfactory position s in th e space of rea sons. This po ints t o a diff erent co nception of factive

co nception o f reason con -

in th ought a bout pr actical rea son-has the look o f a fant asy,

eliminat e what the int eriorized

12 . M 1 not ed in S2, we owe the w orld th a nk s for presenting us with a ppeara nces a t

a U. But that po int

appea rances fr om us, reason wo uld ac hieve its goa l by d eterring us from unsu ppcrted

guesses as t o hew things are .)

13 . Of course one can ma ke mi st a kes; bu t th e idea i s that proper exer cise of ru son

w ould d im inate them. 14 . On the para Ud s i n the sphere o f p ract ical reaso n, sec Bern ard W iUiams, " M o ral Luck- .

is accommod ated by t he fo rm ul a tion in t he t ext . (If the w orld wit hheld

406 I SSU E S IN EPI STEM OL O GY pos itions s uch
406 I SSU E S IN EPI STEM OL O GY
pos itions s uch as
see ing th at things a re a ce rtain w ay. Whe n so me -
o ne en joys s uch a pos itio n, th at inv o lves, if yo u lik e, a stro ke o f good
fo rtu ne, a kindn ess from th e wor ld; even so , th e po sition is, in its
o wn right. a sati sfact or y sta nding i.n the space o f rea son s, n ot a co m -
pos ite in w hich s uc h a s ta nding is c ombin ed with a co nditio n exter -
n al t o th e space of re aso ns . Jj Whether we lik e it o r not, we have t o
rel y o n fav our s fr om th e world : not just that it pr esents us wi th a p-
pearances-which, a s I remarked, the fanta sy view ca n already a c -
c ept as a favour the world d oes us-but that o n occasio n it a ctua lly
is th e w ay it a ppears to be . But t h a t th e world d oes so meo ne th e n ec-
e ssary favour, o n a given occas ion, o f bein g the wa y it a ppears t o be
is not ext ra t o the pe rson 's s ta nding in the space o f re asons. Her
c
oming t o h ave an ep istemica lly sa tis factory sta nding in the space o f
r
easons is not what the interi orized co nce ptio n wou ld require fo r it
t
o co unt as h er o wn
un aided a chievement, But o nce s he h as ac hieved
s
uch a standin g. s he need s n o extr a h e lp fr om th e world t o co unt as
kn owing . 1 6 lf we r escue th e idea o f
the space o f re ason s fr om the di s-
t orti ons o f fant asy, w e ca n say t hat th e p articul ar facts th at
th e
w
orld d oes us th e fav our o f vouc hsafin g t o u s, in th e vari ous rel ev ant
m
odes o f cogniti on, ac tua lly s hape th e space
o f rea son s a s w e find it ,
I S. Thi s fOl'mulation shoul d make i t dea r how wil dly o ff-target Blackburn is ( "Know l-
edge, Truth, a nd Relia bility", p . 176)
in supposing th at my a ppeal to "g ua ranteeing" i n-
format ional s tates belongs w ithin the t;entta l frame wor k o f t he attempt " to ensure that
t here is no c lement o f l uck, or even c on t ingmcy, in the tRIC bel iever' s titl e to k nowledge ".
The t radition al effecr o f t h is a rtempe to transcend luck is t hat a rea
of known f act
shrinks " po tm rially down to a n en ti rely s ubjecti ve re al m". Black bu rn t am me to o ffer a
diffetmt option with in t he same: genera l fra mework , in whkh, in stead of th at shrinkage in
what ca n be k now n, t he mi nd ( the sea t o f these supposed leek- free "guara nteeing" sta ttS)
expands to "embrace" a ll so rts of wor ldl y states of a ffa in. Th is idea. wtUch Blackburn
ri ghrly finds bi zarre, h as nothing to do with what I am proposi ng h ere , and w as p roposi n g
in t he work Blackburn is d iscussing (Essay 17 Black burn is
so locked i n to t he
ftamework t ho ught th at epistemology m ust Centre on a l uck - f ree ZOIlt (a r ole pla yed in h is
favoured epi stemol ogy by t he "i ndicat ift" sta tes t o whach w e arc pu shed back by the gen -
era lized Argu ment f rom lIIusion ) t hat
he ca nnot: com prehend how I ca n have been qun-
honing the f rame work; 50 he has sa dd led me wi th t he insane
posi t io n th at is the onl y in -
t erpretation my wo rds will bear with in t he f ramework .
16 . Exor cizing t he fantilsy sho uld w eaken the inc lination to say th at suc h a standing is
nor one's o wn unaided achievemen t. Co mpa re one of the practical a nalogues. The concept
o f w hat one docs, understood as a pp lying to o ne's; inttrven tions
in t he
cannot: m a rk o ut a s phere within wh ich one has tota l con troJ, im mune to
objective wo rld,
luc k . It i s only if
we r ecoil from t his int o a fant asy o f a sphere with i n which o n e's con tro l is tota l t hat it ca n
seem to follow that what one gm u illt ly achicvu is.1ess t ha n one's int erventions in the
jective w orld . (fhi s i s one o f many p lICa at wh ich much mo re d iscussion is ne eded.]
ob-
Know ledge a nd t he I nternal 4 07 Th e effect is a
Know ledge a nd t he I nternal
4 07
Th e effect is a so rt o f co alescence between the idea o f the space o f
r easons as we find it and the idea o f the wor ld as we en counter it. 17
Of cour se we are fallible in our judgements
a s t o the shape o f the
s pace of reasons as we find it. o r- w ha t come s t o the s ame t hing-as
t o th e shape o f the w orld as we find it . Th a t is t o say t hat we ar e v ul-
ner able t o t he w orld' s pla ying us fa lse; a nd when the world d oes not
p la y
u s fa lse w e a re i ndebted t o it . I S But th a t is something
we must
17 . S« ing (o r mo re g enerally perceiving) that things ate a
certai n way i s ju st one of th e
( or , i n
Blackbu rn' s t erm, " guaran teeing") stat es th at is
restored to its
su -
M w hen t he gen e ralized Argume nt from Ill u sio n is u nderm ined;
oeber s include
proper
re mem ber-
i ng h ow thi ngs were a nd learni ng f rom someone e lse how t hing s are (see 51
s ist ing the d ama 9ng d' fect of letti ng the Argu ment from I llusion st ructu re
a bove). In re-
epis te mo logy
(as in Essay 17 aboYe ), J d o not commit m yself to a ssi mi lating a ll t hese " fective" pos it ions
t o perc ep tjoe , Co mpare
Cris pin Wri ght, "Fact s and Certa inty" . Co m men t ing on th at
essay o f mi ne , h e w rites, a t pp , 443-4 : " J ust as 'l ifting' t he ve il of perce ption is to p ut us,
o n occas ion an yway, i n direct perceptu al t ooch with ma te rial s tates o f affa in, so
a sto ry
h as to be to ld explaining ho w w e are $imila riy, on occas ion, in dir ect perce ptua l to uch
with ochc: rt ' men t al s tates a nd with pas t sta tes o f a t least, in d irect pe rcept ual
t ouch with sta tes o f affa irs which do bette r th an provide inconclu sive ba sis f or c laims
abou t ethe r m inds a nd the past. I do think we a re sometimes in direct percept ua l t ouch
wi th cebees ' menral st a t es, a nd c erta in ly w ith stat es o f aff airs ehar do bett er than provide
inconc lu sive basis for c laims a bout them;
bu t w hy mould J a ccepe the
id ea
th at w e
a t e i n direct perap tuaf mu ch wi th past
su m o f
a ffairs, wh en remembe ri ng t hem w ill
plai nly do i nstead ? Similarly, w hen one karns so me thing f rom someooe el se, t he c ogn itive
rr a nsactio n is of co u r se not a sort of percepec n o f the star e of a ffairs one i s told abou t; re-
s i sta oce to letti ng r h e Arg ument from JII u s ioo structure the e pistemo logy of
testimo ny
need not in vo lve denying t hat o bvious fact (c om pa re Elizabeth Fricka , " Th r Epist emo-
logy o f T esti mony", pp . 7 4- 5 ). I di scuss the epistem ology o f tt5timo ny in Essay 19 be low .
1 8 . W hflt in ums o ut tha t t he w o rtd h as pl ayed u s false, we l;OOC{ude that it has pr esented
u s wi th a mere a ppea rance rat her t ha n a m anifest fa ct . MOROYff, when the w orld does pre-
son u s wi th a manifest f act , it does $0 by present ing u s w ith a n appear ance . It is essentia l noe
t o co nfuse t hese
two piCCl:$ of co mmo n se nse with t he conc lusio n o f t he Argu ment f r om illu -
s ion. O f course
th e eoe rene of the appearances th at
th e wor ld us with ("a p pear-
a nces" is w e neu tra l as be tween a nd "manifest fact
) is not i rrele va nt
to our possession of Iacti ve sta nd i ngs in t he s pace
seei ng
rhar thi ngs a re thus an d $0 depend s on o ur
o f rea son s. Our being a b le t o coun t as, 5ilY,
being propert y sens itive (where " pro perly"
expresses a rati ona l assessment ) to how thi ng s look to u s . But i t i s a mi stak e ro thin k t his de-
pe ndence
is a matt er
of t he appeara nce' s fu nctioni ng as a sta rring -poin t in the space o f rea -
son s, with the sta rlit of see ing how r h ings ate s upposed ly recoestreceed in t erm s of a su f6 -
cien tly cogen t argumen t wit h t he appearance as a premi se . If the addir iona l prem ises we ca n
a ppea l t o are rest ricted t o wh at is availa ble ro r ea so n on the interioriud conceprion o f it, no
suc h arg ument will be sufficie ntly cogmr; th at i s a w ay o f p utting the rea son wh y , once e pi -
st e mo logy ha s sta rted a10ag the path mark ed o ut by the
A rgument fr om JUusi oo, t he ex ter -
n
a l s u pp lementation is neNed (S3 abo ve ], Th is is ho w w e get in t o t he posi t io n i n which w e
h
a Ye mc hoose between
scept icism a nd t he h ybrid v iew. But t be ccenmo n-sense point that ap-
pearance bean on the ra tion al sta tus of be lid' is detachabl e fr om a co mmitme nt re that
choice. (Th ere is m ore discussion of thi s in Essay 1 9 be low.)
408 I S S U ES I N EP ISTE MO LOG Y simp ly
408 I S S U ES I N EP ISTE MO LOG Y
simp ly learn t o live
wit h, r ather th an r ecoiling into th e fa ntasy of a
sp here in w hich o ur
c o nt ro l i s t o tal. 19
6 . The s pace o f reasons is th e s p ace w ithin w hich t hought moves,
an d its t o pography is t hat of t he r a tional interconnecti ons between
co nceptual con tents; we might equa lly speak of the space of coo -
cep t s . 20 So we ca n see th e int eriori aati on o f the space of reaso ns as a
fo rm
o f a familiar t end enc y i n
p hilosop hy: t he tendency t o pi cture
th e o b jective w orld
a s se t o ver
aga inst a " co nceptual sc h eme"
th
at
h a s w ithd raw n int o a kin d o f se lf-sufficie n cy. The fan t asy o f a sp he r e
w ithin whi ch r eason is i n fuU a uto no mous co n tro l is o n e el ement in
th e com plex ae tiolog y o f th is du alism . 2t Th e d ualism yield s a pictu re
in wh ich th e rea lm o f m a tte r, w hich is, i n so fa r a s it im pinges o n us,
th e G iven, conf ronts t he rea lm o f form s, w hi c h is th e realm of
th ought, th e r ealm in w hich s u bjecti v ity h as its bein g . It is of co urse
1 9 . Wright mmti Olls
above) a bout my wa y
two further rnervarions (be5idcs the o ne I lkalt wit h i n P . 1 7
with sceptic ism ( "F acts a nd Certa i nty" , p . 444 ). The first is t h is:
"McDow e ll 's proposal h as
to be worked u p into a de monstra tion that me sceptic actu -
all y h as me epistemol ogy o f t he var ious k ind s of proposi tions wrong. The mtre depict ion
of more comforting altana ti ycs
is nor enough." I hope the prcsmt fo nn ulatiorl of
was t ry ing t o gel: a t makes it: dea re r m a t thi s c ri rid sm m isses me mark . My idea
what I
is th at
sc eptic ism looks u rgent onl y in t he cont ext of a visib ly d ubiou s assum ption, wh ich i m-
poses a ce rta in shape on the s pace o f copistemol.lJSicaI possi bilit ies; so th at the sc eptic does
indeed have t he epist emology of the various kinds of pt oposit ions w rong. (But le t me re -
mark tha t my mov e is no r w ell cut as an am wn to sceptica l c hal lengco&; i t i s mo re lik co a
justifica tion of a refusal to
bother wit h t hcm. ) W right' s
ot he r rC'SCmuion is t ha t "' l iftin g'
t he vcoi l of perttption" ha s no obv io u s bearing OIl a sty 1r: of sc eptica l arg u mcon t coxempl ified
by the a ttempt to u n dcnn i ne perceptua l k nowkdge, ce C'Yn\
per cept ua lly grounded r ea -
sona ble belief, on the basis t hat a t an y rime a t which one t ak es ooese lf t o hav e it , one la cks
s u fficient reason to
believ co t hat
o ne
is not dreaming. B ut I should ha ve th ought the bea ring
w as q ui te o bvious. Only i f the veil is su ppl)SC'd to be in plac e ca n it see m that 00C' wou ld
need to esta b l ish, oe equi p o neself with g ood rea soe to su ppose, tha t one
is n ot dr eam ing
bqon one can be en ti t led t o ra k e cee 's a pparen t per cepdoe s a t fa ce va lue . Ooce
the veil is
lifted, thi ngs ca n be t he other way round ; o ne's good rea son to be liev e one is nor drea m-
ing, 00 the rcolev a nt occasions, ca n res ide i n all t he knowledge o f t h e conv i ronment rhar
OOC" s senses ar e yidding o ne--so met:hing t hat does not happen when
o n e is d reaming, (See
Essay 1 I above , S5 ).
20 . I am q ui ee u napol ogetic a bout th e imagery here . Blackbu rn ' s de hau t e ll bas r e-
marks abou t my s patial imagery fo r the: menta l ("Knowledge, T ruth , a nd Reliabi lity",
pp. I n -8 ) depend 00 a gross m issing of iu point; see n . 15 abo ve.
2 1. Another e1coment is the: t empta tion t o push a ll f ac u w onh y o f the
n ame into an ob-
ject iyco mo ukl; the dualism res ulu i f w e t ry to COlICeiV CO s u bject iv ity in a n o bjec ti vistic way .
1 " 1 m or e a bout tN l in Essay I I a bove, a nd in " Functiona lism an d Ano malo u s M onism" .
A third demen t will emer ge a t t he end o f thi s essa y (S8) .
Knowledge and t he Internal 409 a secon d Sel1a rsian id ea th at
Knowledge and t he Internal
409
a
secon d Sel1a rsian id ea th at thi s p icture is h o peless; it is th e so urce
o
f th e b asic m isco ncep ti on o f mode rn p hiloso phy, t he id ea th at th e
ta sk
o f phil o soph y is t o br idge an o ntologica l an d ep iste mo logical
gu lf a cr oss w hich t h e s u b jective and th e o b ject ive ar e s up posed t o
face one a nother.P
This fu U-fledged du alism o f s ub jecti ve a nd o b jecti ve-co r inner an d
o ut er- is a good co ntext in w hic h t o th ink abou t some thing I
pro mised t o co me back t o: t he insta bility o f an ep istemo logy in
w hich truth is ext e rnal a nd r eliability is internal.
Wh en th e du alism becomes full-fledged, it d efeats it self. If w e co n-
ceive wha t we wan t to t hink of a s t he s pace o f co ncepts, th e realm
o f
t h o ught, in a way th at aliena tes it so r a dically from th e merely ma te-
r
ial th at we seem t o be faced with those fa miliar modern p r ob le ms o f
r
econciling th e s ubjective with th e o bjective, we
undermine o ur
right
t o t hink o f it as th e realm o f t h o ught a t a ll. Wh e n w e s e t it o ff so
r adically fro m th e o bjective w orl d, we lose o ur
right
t o th ink
o f
moves w ithin th e space w e are picturing as co ntent -involving. So we
Stop be ing a ble t o p icture
it as th e space of co ncepts . Eve rything goes
d ark in th e int erior as we pictur e it . D
N ow
i n th e ep iste mo logical sy ndr o me I have been d iscussing, th e
a im is t o s et off th e in ner fro m th e o ut e r , but in a way th at s tops
s ho rt o f th at di sastr o u s exti nguis hing o f co nt ent . The id ea is
th at th e
o uter injects co nt e nt int o th e inn er; th e w o rld a ffords us a ppear -
ances, a nd w e t hereby h ave d ealings with co ntent (it seems t o us th at
t hings are , o r w ere, th us and so ). App earan c es ace starting-poi nts
fro m whi ch we ca n move abou t i n th e int erio r space, the spa ce o f
reaso ns, dr awing inferen ces fro m th em in way s reason ca n end orse,
for instance o n th e gro und th at a par ticular Inference exemp lifies a
mode o f a rriving a t be liefs t hat is reliable. But th e insta bility
I
po inted t o , th e sepa ratio n o f t ruth a s ext e rn a l from r eliability as in -
t ernal, reveals th at thi s atte mpt t o s t o p sh o rt o f disaster
is h o peless.
If moves i n th e s pace o f r easo n s are n ot a llow ed to
sta n fro m fa cts,
riskily accepted as s uch o n t he basis of s uc h dir ect
modes o f cogni-
ti ve contact wi th th em as p ercepti o n and memory , then it beco mes
uni ntelligible h o w o ur pictur e can be a p icture o f a sp ace w hose po-
2 2 . FOI" an e la boration of th is Sd larsia n m eme, see Richa rd R ony. Phil owphy a nd th t
MirTor o f Na hnt.
2 3 . I t al k a bo ut this i n Essay 11 a bove.
4 10 I S SUES IN EPIS T EM OLO GY s itions ar e
4 10
I S SUES IN EPIS T EM OLO GY
s itions ar e co nnected by relations r eason can exploit, s uch as that
o n e o f
them is
a reliable gr ound for
m ovin g b y inferenc e t o a nother .
If th e s p ace o f r ea son s as w e find it i s withdr a wn from t he o bjective
w or ld a s it makes itself m anifest t o u s, th en it be com es unin telligib le
h ow i t ca n co n t a i n a ppea rances, c o ntent - invo l ving as th ey mu st be,
e it he r . We a re here in th e
vicin ity o f a third Sella r sian ide a. th at r ea l-
i ty is pri or , in
th e o rder o f und erst anding, t o a ppea rance; I am dr aw -
ing th e m oral th at it ma kes no se nse t o s uppose a s p ace s ufficiently
int eriori zed t o be insu lated fr om
thel ess con tain appea ra nces. "
specific manifest fact mi g ht never -
7 . Th e con s ide rations 1 h a ve o ffere d s uggest a w ay to r es pond t o
sce pticism ab out, fo r ins ta nce . per ceptual kn owl edge; th e
thi n g to d o
is not t o a nswer th e sce ptic' s c hallenges, but t o di agnose
th eir see m-
in g u rgenc y as d erivin g fr o m a misguid ed i nte ric rization o f r ea son .
But a t least o n e famili ar form o f sce pticism is n ot o bvio us l y withi n
r e a ch o f t hi s m ove . At fir st appe ar a nce, a t any r ate, sce pticism abo ut
ind ucti on d oes n ot t um o n int eriori zing the spa ce o f r easons. In co n -
nect ion with inductive k now led ge, we seem not t o need an Argum ent
fr om Illu sion t o a c hieve th e e ffect that t he Argu ment fr om Illu s ion
a c hieves in th e cases w here sce pti cs d o appe al t o it : th e ef fect o f fo -
c us in g o ur a ttenti o n o n a basis-a starting -po int in
th e
s p ace o f r ea -
so ns- th a t falls sh o rt o f th e fact s s u pposed ly kn own .
24 . H aving i nvoked Sellarsian id eas as a standin g i n t he space o f re asom;
!he rejectio n of t h e G iven, o r, w h a t comn to th e same t hing. the r ej ect ion o f a v iew of our
coecepeual sc heme as what is set OYC' r ag a inst the Given; a nd t he priori ty of rta lity o ver
appear.llv;:e ), I oogh t to c on fess t h ai I do n ot find i n Sellars h i mse lf the dieect figu ring o f
manifest faa in the sp ace of reasons t ha cl am "Emp iric is m and t he Ph i lo-
sop hy o f M ind " , whic h is m y sou rce for a ll t hree of the i dea s I h a ve inv oke d, c o ntain s (in
§ J 5 and
ff .) a n acoou nt of t h e a uth ority o f o bserva tiona l reports t hat ex presses a good
th o ugh
ma
t the capacity t o m ake obse rva tional repo rts
ceq u i lU genera l k nowled ge o f
t he wor ld, even i n casn as co nc q>tua lly u ndema ndi ng as sa ying wh at c o lou r something
iJ
---,i
n what S«I1\ S to me a s uspect way , in t er ms o f the s u bject's
a bility to infer a judge-
men t abo ut t he wor ld f rom h er o wn rc ken ing (or pc opmsity
o bserva tion al fo em o f words. I am susp icioos o f th is a voida nce
to w ard s a t oken ing) o f a n
o f d"" straigh tfo rward idea
tha c the au tho r ity o f t he repo rt co nsist s i n t lMo, faa
tha t t hings ar e m anifest l y so. (Tha t idea
is
perfect ly co nsistmt wi th the g ood t h o ught , n or a re la pse: i nto a form o f !he M yth o f the
G
iven . ) Sellars 's acco unt rdkcu somr: s uc h idea
as t his : rbe c on ten t a n C'Xp ress ioo h a s b y
virt ue o f iu ro le in lang uage-en t l')' pro priet ies is
no n-coooepr ual c onte nt; coecepeual co n -
l e nt COf'flC5 into pla y o n the b as is of inf erenti a l p r op rieties . I th ink t his view o f
l ang uage-e o try propric1i es i s a vest ige o f a bad w a y of
th in king. whic h the main t hemes o f
Sdlarsian phi losoph y s how u s h ow t o unde nnine . But thi s essay is n o t meant as coetrnen -
tary on Sellars, a nd I s hall n ee t a k e these issues furthe r bere.
Knowledge and the Internal 411 With out tryin g a full treatment, I shall menti
Knowledge and the Internal
411
With out tryin g a
full treatment, I shall menti on a fourth Sellarsian
id ea, wh ose effect is t o brin g inductive sce pticism int o the same
fram ew ork. Co nsider a c haracteristic Humean formul ation o f the
predi cam ent that is s upposed t o invit e inductive sce pticism:
It may, th erefore, a subject worthy o f c uriosity, t o enquire what is
the nature of that evidence, which assures us of any
matter of fact,
beyond
th e present t estimo ny o f O Ut senses
15
If w e are
to t ake it seriously
that what is in qu estion is testim ony o f
o ur se nses. w e m ust think in
term s o f so mething co ntent -involving-
so methin g in
whi ch, sa y, col ours figure a s apparent pr operties of o b-
jects . A mere w ash o f ch romati c sensa tion , not ref erred to a s u ppos -
edl y perceiv ed envir onment, could not co unt a s te stim ony o f our
se nse s. N ow my fourth Sellar s ian idea can be put like thi s: there can -
n ot be a predicament in which o ne is receiving te stimon y f rom o ne's
senses but o ne h as n ot yet tak en a ny inductive s teps . T o stay with the
experien ce o f co lour, wh ose s implicity presumably mak es it maxi -
m ally fav our able t o the co ntrary view: c ol our experi ence's being te s-
tim ony o f the senses depends o n th e s ubject's already kn owin g a
gr eat deal abo ut, for instan ce, the effect o f different
nation o n co lour a ppearances; and a subject c ould
sorts o f illumi-
not kn ow th at
with out kn owin g a gre at d eal. o utside th e immediate deliver ances
o f
th e sense s. about th e o bjective w orld a nd o ur cognitive acc ess t o it .
This makes for an ea sy e xtension to indu ctive sce pticism o f th e
e pistemological
m ove I h ave been recomm endin g . Th e ke y th ought
so far has been that if w e ref use to make sense o f th e ide a o f direct
o penness to me m anifest world, we undermin e th e id ea o f being in
th e s pace o f rea sons at all , a nd hence
th e idea o f being in a position
t o h ave thin gs appear t o o ne a c e rtai n wa y. There is n o making s ense
o f
perceptual appearanc es-e-the t estim on y o f one's sense s-with out
m aking se nse o f th e po ssibility th at m e o bjective world c an be imme-
diately pr esent t o the senses . N ow Sellars's point about co lour e xpe -
rience is a spec ific case o f that point; th ere is n o makin g sense o f th at
po ssibility unl ess o ne's conceptual sp ace a lready embraces a w orld
with mor e t o it th an is immediately present t o the senses . N othin g
could be imm ediately
pr esent to one's senses unle ss o ne already had
kn owledge that goes beyond what is imm ediately pre sent to the
25 . An Enquiry Com:n ning H uman UruIns w nding S4 .
412 I SS U ES IN E P IS T E MO LO G Y
412 I SS U ES IN E P IS T E MO LO G Y
se nses. So th e s u pposed p redicament o f th e inductive sce ptic is a fie-
ti on . And the mi stak e i s r eall y th e sa me as the o ne I h ave a lrea dy di s-
c ussed: th at w e can m ak e th e inward wi th dra wa l that th e Argu me nt
from Ulusi on is
s u ppose d t o c o m pe l, but s to p s ho rt o f extin guish ing
co ntent . It is s uperficial t o o bject th at an A rgument from Illu sion
d oes n ot typ ically figu re in r ec omm end ati o ns o f ind u cti ve sc epticism .
Hum e' s formul ati on c an seem ( 0 d escri be a p redicam ent o nly if o ne
does n o t th ink thr ough the id ea th at it s subject a lready has the t esti -
mony of
th e se nses. a nd thi s me ans th at sce pticism abo ut
in d u ctio n
ca n see m g ripping o nly in co mbination with a s t raigh t fo rw a rdl y inte -
r iori zing e pistemo logy for pe rcep tion.
8. There m ay be a t emp tat ion t o o bject th at th e int eriorization I
have been di scussing cann o t be a fantasy , as I h ave bee n s ugge sting i t
is; it
is s imp ly a ver si on o f a pe rfectly intuitiv e th ought, a p iece o f
co mmo n sense, t o th e e ffect th at th e m ental is
int ern al. If thi s i nt u -
itiv e th ought is
ta ken a nything lik e lit erally, i t ca n seem t o co mpe l
th e conclusio n th at mind s ma ke co n tact with t he exte rna l w orld
a
t a n inter face, an d th en c ogn itive sta tes, with th eir facti ve na ture,
s
urel y canno t but be co mpos ites o f i nteri or a nd e xterior circum -
s te nces." An d a literal co nstr ual c an be very t em pting; after a ll, it is
unqu estio n able th at hum an be ings d o lit erally h ave in sides, an d th at
th ey are p artly oc cupied b y comp lex m ech an isms abo ut w hose oper-
at ions we ca n in princi ple, a nd t o so me e xten t in p ract ice, d o n atural
scie nce, in s uch a w ay as t o acco unt in so me se nse fo r b ehavi our-
th e v ery thin g th at a ppea l ing t o th e m ent al w as s up pose d t o d o.
I ca nn o t d eal w ith thi s prope rly n ow ; b ut I s h a ll e nd b y m ention -
in g tw o re ason s fo r d ou bt abo ut this
lin e of o bjection.
Fir st, th ere
is a fa miliar an d im pres sive tr aditi o n o f r eflecti on
a bo ut commo n -sense psyc ho logy, acco rding t o wh ich th e po int of i ts
concepts li es in th eir pr oviding a
kind o f un de rst andi ng o f pe rso n s
a n d th eir d oings th at is r adically
unlike the und ersta ndin g th at th e
n atur al scie nces ca n yie ld. Thi s tr adi ti on' s in sights are n ever ta ken
s ufficie ntl y se rio usly by peop le wh o s uggest "fo lk psyc holog y" is a
p roto- theory o f th e o pe rati o n s of th o se i nt ernal m ech anisms, to be
refi ned a nd perh aps wh oll y superseded as we learn m or e abo ut
wh at
2 6 . This i s the basis o f me denial, t"ommon i n phi l osophy, t ha t kn ow kdgc i s a m ental
state : see, e .g., A. J. Ayer, Tbe P robk m 0( pp . 14-26 . (Compare also n. 11
a bo ve. )
Knowledg e an d t h e Int ernal 4 13 goes o n in
Knowledg e an d t h e Int ernal
4 13
goes o n in side our h eads. For instance, n atural -scientifi c investiga -
ti on o f how what is literally internal controls behaviour w ou ld seek
theo ries whose power to explain w ould be pr oportiona l to their
po we r to predict . But fo lk -psychologica l concepts can expre ss a kind
o f und erstandin g o f a person t hat seems to hav e litt le o r n o r elation
t o pr edictive pow er. And we d o n ot find this kind o f under standing
an y th e worse for th at, at leas t until method o logically inclined peo -
p le tr y t o put u s o n the defensive. If the u nd e r s tanding that common -
sense p sycho logy yields is sui g enetis, there is no reason t o regard it
as a primitive version o f th e und er standin g
pr omised by a the ory o f
inn er mechanisms. The two sorts o f understandin g need n ot co mpe t e
fo r r oom t o oc cupy.
Second, about the intuitiv e idea that th e menta l is internal . I s up-
po se th is idea makes it natur a l. w hen we lea rn about a dvances in the
scientific understandin g o f h o w o ur behaviour is contro lled by liter -
a ll y intern a l mechanism s,
h ad so me dim concepti on
to s uppose tha t that is w hat w e mus t h ave
o f all along. But I t hink this is a co nfusion.
At its most abstract , th e content o f th e pre -th eoretica l n otion o f th e
menta l a s inner l ies in s uc h facts as th at a t least some menta l s ta t es
and occur rences. unlike perc eptib le s tates o f affairs, are "interna l ac-
cusativ es" to the co nsciousness o f their s ubjects." But the ch aracter
o f th e n otion comes o ut more co ncretely in the idea t hat on e ca n
so metimes see what so meone ' s mental state is by (as we say ) loo kin g
into h er e yes. And thi s id ea carrie s its nature o n its face: it is a p ic-
ture. a pi ece o f imager y. 2B (This is n ot
so mething t o be emb ar rassed
a bout .) It h as nothin g t o d o w ith th e idiotic th ought th a t one ca n
loo k through th e eyes in t o the interi or o f a pe r son's s kull. Th ere is
no comfort to be d erived her e, b y wa y o f a literal co nstrua l of a piece
of comm on sense. for the idea that t he menta l is withdrawn from di -
rect e ngagement with the w or ld-the idea expressed b y the differ-
en tly figurative interiorizarion t hat h as
been my main tar get.
2 7. Thi s is haw it is wit h the mental sta r" a nd occurrences t hat a rc most:
t he
norion of t he ment al a s i nna . Th e i dea o f t he me nta l is comp lex, and
co ngenial to
it can eas il)'
spread to cove r sta t" a nd occurrences of w hich this clai m i s
n(lt t rue. But t hese ou tlicn d o
not t rigger the phi loso phica l moves th at focus o n the idea o f inte riority .
2 8. At Philoscp hiuJ Inwstigat io'u 5423, t he ide a o f things t hat go on i n soeeoe e fig-
u res a s a pi«ure t hat W ingcnste in d ocs no t rej ect, thou gh he suggests t here arc diffi culties
i n u nde rsta nding
its a pp lication. Sec a lso 5 427, o n wan ting t o k now wh at
is going on i n
somconc's head: " The p icture s houl d be ta ken sc riousl y." ( 8)' "se riously" he re he c1earl ),
d ocs n oc mea n "lit erally" .J