© 2001, Humboldt State University
Here is a common ‘intuition’ that you’ll often find expressed regarding the epistemological externalism/internalism distinction. It is the thought that epistemological internalism, whatever its other faults, at least leaves the possession of knowledge a transparent matter; whereas epistemological externalism, whatever its other merits, at least makes the possession of knowledge opaque. It is the status of this view of the externalism/internalism contrast that I wish to evaluate in this paper. In particular, I argue that on the most credible interpretation of this ‘transparency’ thesis it is in fact inconsistent with even a minimal version of epistemological internalism. I conclude that knowledge is opaque on any plausible construal of knowledge, and consider some implications that this result has for the contemporary epistemological debate.
Pritchard, Duncan (2001) "The Opacity of Knowledge," Essays in Philosophy: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 1.