1 In the philosophy of mind and language, the view that what is thought, or said, or experienced, is essentially dependent on aspects of the world external to the mind of the subject. The view goes beyond holding that such mental states are typically caused by external factors, to insist that they could not have existed as they now do without the subject being embedded in an external world of a certain kind. It thus opposed the Cartesian separation of the mental from the physical. Various external factors have been advanced as ones on which mental content depends, including the usage of experts, the linguistic norms of the community, and the general causal relationships of the subject. See also content, wide and narrow ; twin-earth.
2 In the theory of knowledge, externalism is the view that a person might know something by being suitably situated with respect to it, without that relationship being in any sense within his purview. The view allows that you can know without being justified in believing that you know. See also reliabilism.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Externalism — Ex*ter nal*ism . 1. The quality of being manifest to the senses; external acts or appearances; regard for externals. [1913 Webster] This externalism gave Catholicism a great advantage on all sides. E. Eggleston. [1913 Webster] 2. (Metaph.) That… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • externalism — [ek stʉr′nəl iz΄əm, ikstʉr′nəl iz΄əm] n. 1. EXTERNALITY (sense 1) 2. too great a regard for externals …   English World dictionary

  • externalism — ekˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˌizəm, ik noun ( s) 1. a. : externality 1a b. : attention to externals; especially : excessive preoccupation with externals the externalism of som …   Useful english dictionary

  • externalism — noun Date: 1856 1. attention to externals; especially excessive preoccupation with externals 2. externality 1 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • externalism — externalist, n. /ik sterr nl iz euhm/, n. attention to externals, esp. excessive attention to externals, as in religion. [1855 60; EXTERNAL + ISM] * * * …   Universalium

  • externalism — noun a) Excessive regard to outward acts or appearances, especially in religion. The denial of internalism. b) The act of judging by outward appearance or acts. See Also: externalist, internalism, internalist …   Wiktionary

  • externalism — n. excessive concern for things which are external or superficial (especially in religion) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Externalism — in epistemology, the theory that justification can hold elements which are not known to the subject of the belief …   Mini philosophy glossary

  • externalism — noun 1》 excessive regard for outward form in religion. 2》 Philosophy the view that mental events and acts are essentially dependent on the world external to the mind. Derivatives externalist noun & adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • externalism — ex·ter·nal·ism …   English syllables

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