David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):159-77 (1997)
According to ‘internalism’, what mental states people are in depends wholly on what obtains inside their heads. This paper challenges that view without relying on arguments about the identity‐conditions of concepts that make up the content of mental states. Instead, it questions the internalist’s underlying assumption that, in Searle’s words, “the brain is all we have for the purpose of representing the world to ourselves”, which neglects the fact that human beings have used their brains to devise methods for extending and enhancing the brain’s own functions, in particular for storing information externally. Although Popper draws attention to this fact, he fails to grasp its psychological implications, concluding instead that there can be knowledge “without a knowing subject”, and so repeating the internalist’s mistake. With equal justice one can conclude, absurdly, that there are ownerless plans, resolutions and shopping‐lists. The paper goes on to meet possible internalist counter‐arguments
|Keywords||Content Epistemology External Mental Representation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Tyler Burge (1979). Individualism and the Mental. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Michael McKinsey (1991). Anti-Individualism and Privileged Access. Analysis 51 (January):9-16.
Hilary Putnam (1975). Mind, Language, and Reality. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Tom Roberts (2011). Taking Responsibility for Cognitive Extension. Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):1-11.
Tom Roberts (2012). You Do the Maths: Rules, Extension, and Cognitive Responsibility. Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):133 - 145.
Similar books and articles
J. Christopher Maloney (1994). Content: Covariation, Control, and Contingency. Synthese 100 (2):241-90.
Andrew E. Newman (2004). The Good, the Bad, and the Irrational: Three Views of Mental Content. Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):95-106.
B. J. C. Madison (2009). On the Compatibility of Epistemic Internalism and Content Externalism. Acta Analytica 24 (3):173-183.
Keith Butler (1997). Externalism, Internalism, and Knowledge of Content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):773-800.
J. Gregory Trafton, Susan B. Trickett & Farilee E. Mintz (2005). Connecting Internal and External Representations: Spatial Transformations of Scientific Visualizations. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 10 (1):89-106.
Andrew E. Newman (2005). Two Grades of Internalism (Pass and Fail). Philosophical Studies 122 (2):153-169.
Andrew R. Bailey (2007). Representation and a Science of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1):62-76.
Michael Pelczar (2009). Content Internalism About Indexical Thought. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):95 - 104.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads35 ( #49,246 of 1,101,088 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #23,111 of 1,101,088 )
How can I increase my downloads?