David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 192 (5):1337-1350 (2015)
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 , I construe the argument as attacking the conjunction of externalism and “skeptic immune” knowledge of content, where such knowledge would persist in a skeptical context. Goldberg, following Burge :649–663, 1988), attempts to reclaim such knowledge for the externalist; however, I contend that all Burge-style accounts 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 immune manner, despite what the slow-switch argument may suggest. For one, I emphasize that “knowing what” can be ontologically non-committal . For another, following Boer and Lycan , I stress that “knowing what” is purpose-relative–and for at least some purposes, it seems possible for the externalist to “know what” content her thought has, even if skeptical hypotheses about XYZ are relevant
|Keywords||Externalism Anti-Individualism Goldberg, Sanford Brown, Jessica Self-Knowledge Knowledge of Content Boër, Stephen Lycan, William Knowing What Burge, Tyler|
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Keith DeRose (2009). The Case for Contextualism. Oxford University Press.
John R. Searle (1983). Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge University Press.
Alvin I. Goldman (1986). Epistemology and Cognition. Harvard University Press.
Keith DeRose (1995). Solving the Skeptical Problem. Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
David Lewis (1996). Elusive Knowledge. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
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