Definition of externalism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ikˈstərnəˌlizəm/


1Excessive regard for outward form in religion.
Example sentences
  • Having established the principle which condemned religious externalism, Jesus went on to give specific examples of its practice.
  • Eventually, he argued, this is what in fact happened so that the prophets faced a dead externalism in religious practice and a mechanical routine in religious thought.
2 Philosophy The view that mental events and acts are essentially dependent on the world external to the mind, in opposition to the Cartesian separation of mental and physical worlds.
Example sentences
  • By considering a series of examples, I shall attempt to exhibit as clearly as possible the fundamental intuition about epistemic rationality that externalism seems to violate.
  • However, one may draw rather different conclusions from the Cartesian thought experiment - turning it against externalism.
  • So externalism poses no extra challenge to functionalism.



noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • Still, the externalist conception of justified belief does seem descriptive, whereas the internalist conception is explicitly regulative.
  • Moreover, there are general reasons for thinking that phenomenal sameness is not always sufficient for sameness of thought - this is a principle which externalists defend.
  • Other philosophers have argued for an externalist conception of mental content, according to which meaning is fixed by the social context, more particularly the language community.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·ter·nal·ism

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