Ownership, Authorship and External Justification

Jennifer Duke-Yonge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Some of the most well-known arguments against epistemic externalism come in the form of thought experiments involving subjects who acquire beliefs through anomolous means such as clairvoyance. These thought experiments purport to provide counterexamples to the reliabilist conception of justification: their subjects are intuitively epistemically unjustified, yet meet reliabilist externalist criteria for justification. In this article, I address a recent defence of externalism due to Daniel Breyer, who argues that externalists need not consider such subjects justified, since they fail to own those beliefs in a way required for epistemic evaluability. I argue that the concept of belief ownership Breyer adopts leaves his account open to related counterexamples, and suggest a modification, drawing on analogies between these cases and cases of delusions, such as thought insertion. I will argue that a concept of authorship developed in the literature on delusions better grounds the sense of attribution required for epistemic evaluability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalActa Analytica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


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