David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Some worry that semantic externalism is incompatible with knowing by introspection what content your thoughts have. In this paper, I examine one primary argument for this incompatibilist worry, the slow-switch argument. Following Goldberg (2006), I construe the argument as attacking the conjunction of externalism and skeptic-proof knowledge of content, where such knowledge would be immune to skeptical doubt. Goldberg, following Burge (1988), attempts to reclaim such knowledge for the externalist; however, I contend that all Burge-style accounts (at best) vindicate that a subject can introspectively know that she is thinking that “water is wet.” They do not yet show how a subject can introspectively know what she is thinking—which is the distinctive type of knowing at issue in the slow-switch argument. Nonetheless, I subsequently amend the Burge-style view to illustrate how an externalist can introspectively “know what” content her thought has, and know it in a skeptic-proof manner, despite what the slow-switch argument may suggest. For one, I emphasize that “knowing what” is intensional (one can know what a water-thought is sans familiarity with H2O-thoughts). Second, I exploit the fact that such knowledge can be ontologically non-committal (so that knowing your thought is about water does not require knowing that water exists). Finally, following Boër and Lycan (1986), I point out that “knowing what” is purpose-relative—and for at least some purposes, I suggest it is possible for the externalist to “know what” content her thought has, even when skeptical hypotheses about XYZ are entertained.
|Keywords||Externalism Anti-Individualism Goldberg, Sanford Brown, Jessica Self-Knowledge Knowledge of Content Boër, Stephen Lycan, William Knowing What Burge, Tyler|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Paul A. Boghossian (1997). What the Externalist Can Know A Priori. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (2):161-75.
Christopher Gauker (2003). Social Externalism and Linguistic Communication. In Maria J. Frapolli & E. Romero (eds.), Meaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and Mind: Essays on Tyler Burge. CSLI.
Ted A. Warfield (1995). Knowing the World and Knowing Our Minds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (3):525-545.
Sanford C. Goldberg (2000). Externalism and Authoritative Knowledge of Content: A New Incompatibilist Strategy. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 100 (1):51-79.
Sven Bernecker (2000). Knowing the World by Knowing One's Mind. Synthese 123 (1):1-34.
Keith Butler (1997). Externalism, Internalism, and Knowledge of Content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):773-800.
Tyler Burge (1988). Individualism and Self-Knowledge. Journal of Philosophy 85 (November):649-63.
Ted A. Warfield (2005). Tyler Burge's Self-Knowledge. Grazer Philosophische Studien 70 (1):169-178.
James Pryor (2007). What's Wrong with McKinsey-Style Reasoning? In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Internalism and Externalism in Semantics and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. 177--200.
Added to index2010-03-01
Total downloads95 ( #11,383 of 1,096,515 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #18,760 of 1,096,515 )
How can I increase my downloads?