David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 72 (1):73 - 92 (2010)
The first explicit argument for the incompatibility of externalism in the philosophy of mind and a priori self-knowledge is Boghossian’s discrimination argument. In this essay, I oppose the third premise of this argument, trying to show by means of a thought experiment that possessing the “twater thought” is not an alternative, a fortiori not a relevant alternative, to having the “water thought.” I then examine a modified version of Boghossian’s argument. The attempt is made to substantiate the claim that the standard incompatibilist support for its second premise is untenable. Furthermore, a third Boghossian-style argument is rejected on the ground that either its second premise cannot be warranted in the way suggested by incompatibilists or its third premise is mistaken because having the “twater thought” instead of the “water thought” is not relevant. Finally, it is argued that the discrimination argument cannot be saved by invoking closure. The upshot of my discussion is that a compatibilist can dismiss Boghossian-style arguments for incompatibilism without having to deal with fundamental issues concerning self-knowledge and the nature of slow switching.
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References found in this work BETA
Sven Bernecker (2004). Memory and Externalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):605 - 632.
Sven Bernecker (1998). Self-Knowledge and Closure. In Peter Ludlow & N. Martin (eds.), Externalism and Self-Knowledge. Csli.
Akeel Bilgrami (1992). Can Externalism Be Reconciled with Self-Knowledge? Philosophical Topics 20 (1):233-68.
Paul Boghossian (1989). Content and Self-Knowledge. Philosophical Topics 17 (1):5-26.
Paul A. Boghossian (1992). Externalism and Inference. Philosophical Issues 2:11-28.
Citations of this work BETA
Mahmoud Morvarid (2014). The Discrimination Argument: A Reply to Dierig. Erkenntnis 79 (5):1209-1219.
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