Definition of externalism in US English:



  • 1Excessive regard for outward form in religion.

    ‘religion needs to be questioned for its negative attitudes, hypocrisy, and externalism’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Having established the principle which condemned religious externalism, Jesus went on to give specific examples of its practice.’
  • 2Philosophy
    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.

    • ‘This weak externalism naturally expands into more robust varieties.’
    • ‘However, one may draw rather different conclusions from the Cartesian thought experiment - turning it against externalism.’
    • ‘So externalism poses no extra challenge to functionalism.’
    • ‘The difference between externalism and internalism is that of watching a movie versus having a role in one and making up our own lines.’
    • ‘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.’