The semantic basis of externalism
Graduate studies at Western
In J. Campbell, M.O. Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth. New York: Seven Bridges Press (2001)
|Abstract||1. The primary evidence and motivation for externalism in the philosophy of mind is provided by the semantic facts that support direct reference theories of names, indexi- cal pronouns, and natural kind terms. But many externalists have forgotten their sem- antic roots, or so I shall contend here. I have become convinced of this by a common reaction among externalists to the main argument of my 1991 paper AAnti-Individual- ism and Privileged Access.@ In that argument, I concluded that externalism is incompat- ible with the principle that we can have privileged, non-empirical knowledge of the contents of our own thoughts. The reaction in question amounts to a dismissive denial of one of my argument=s main premises. This premise, which I defended at length in the paper, is that an externalist thesis regarding a cognitive property should hold that possession of the property by a person _logically_, or _conceptually_, implies the existence of objects external to that person|
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