Reliabilism, knowledge, and mental content

I consider whether one particular anti-individualist claim, the doctrine of object-dependent thoughts (DODT), is compatible with the Principle of Privileged Access, or PPA, which states that, in general, a subject can have non-empirical knowledge of her thought contents. The standard defence of the compatibility of anti-individualism and PPA emphasises the reliability of the process which produces a subject's second order beliefs about her thought contents. I examine whether this defence can be applied to DODT, given that DODT generates the possibility of illusions of thought. Drawing on general epistemological literature, I distinguish several senses of reliability, and argue that in the relevant sense-'global reliability'-DODT does sometimes threaten reliability and hence PPA.
Keywords Epistemology  Knowledge  Mental Content  Reliabilism
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DOI 10.1111/j.0066-7372.2003.00006.x
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