Examine Goldman, Brandom and Bonjour's theories of knowledge. What reasons does Goldman give for saying that the most basic of j-rules must refer to cognitive states (and not social relations)? Compare and contrast the three thinkers on internalism and externalism. Present and evaluate Brandom's position on reliabilism.
The concept here is to figure out what is needed in order to give a complete account of empirical states that is non-circular. Someone has knowledge that x is z only if x is causally connected to some list of states (things like observation, honest testimony, etc). Knowledge is then having a causal history - and having it right. We can only know in the context of many possible and relevant alternatives. A belief, if true, must be created by a reliable process.
J-rules are those that give us a basis on which to judge which beliefs are allowed and which are not.
J-rules are methods or processes. What this means in practice is that a J-rule is a process of thought and verification that tends to produce accurate knowledge.
J-rules are cognitive states because they are methods that are not learned. They exist from the very foundation of our humanity and basic maturation. They must be cognitive states because the only thing Goldman cares about is the method by which we psychologically build knowledge.
Of course, Goldman is an externalist because he cares only about the process that goes on in thought, but that thought must line up with an external reality - a brute given. Bonjour denies that brute givens exist.
He is interested in how concepts are formed (and what they actually are). A concept is based on understanding - but this only in a specific way. First, it is not static. It is a hypothetical. It can be the conclusion of some process (like in Goldman's account). It is not automatic, but something that demands investigation. We also have to know how the concept is used. What it is to the user? What is it's significance? Any concept exists ...
The theory of knowleage for Goldman, Brandom and Bonjour are examined.