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Mind, Language, and Reality

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  1. The Meaning of 'Theory'.Gabriel Abend - 2008 - Sociological Theory 26 (2):173-199.
    'Theory' is one of the most important words in the lexicon of contemporary sociology. Yet, their ubiquity notwithstanding, it is quite unclear what sociologists mean by the words 'theory,' 'theoretical,' and 'theorize.' I argue that confusions about the meaning of 'theory' have brought about undesirable consequences, including conceptual muddles and even downright miscommunication. In this paper I tackle two questions: what does 'theory' mean in the sociological language?; and what ought 'theory' to mean in the sociological language? I proceed in (...)
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  • Cause and Essence.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Synthese 93 (3):403 - 449.
    Essence and causation are fundamental in metaphysics, but little is said about their relations. Some essential properties are of course causal, as it is essential to footprints to have been caused by feet. But I am interested less in causation's role in essence than the reverse: the bearing a thing's essence has on its causal powers. That essencemight make a causal contribution is hinted already by the counterfactual element in causation; and the hint is confirmed by the explanation essence offers (...)
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  • Curse of the Qualia.Stephen L. White - 1986 - Synthese 68 (August):333-68.
    In this paper I distinguish three alternatives to the functionalist account of qualitative states such as pain. The physicalist-functionalist holds that (1) there could be subjects functionally equivalent to us whose mental states differed in their qualitative character from ours, (2) there could be subjects functionally equivalent to us whose mental states lacked qualitative character altogether and (3) there could not be subjects like us in all objective respects whose qualitative states differed from ours. The physicalist-functionalist holds (1) and (3) (...)
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  • Unifying Foundations – to Be Seen in the Phenomenon of Language.Lars Löfgren - 2004 - Foundations of Science 9 (2):135-189.
    Scientific knowledge develops in an increasingly fragmentary way.A multitude of scientific disciplines branch out. Curiosity for thisdevelopment leads into quests for a unifying understanding. To a certain extent, foundational studies provide such unification. There is a tendency, however, also of a fragmentary growth of foundational studies, like in a multitude of disciplinaryfoundations. We suggest to look at the foundational problem, not primarily as a search for foundations for one discipline in another, as in some reductionist approach, but as a steady (...)
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  • To Color.James A. McGilvray - 1983 - Synthese 54 (January):37-70.
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  • Self and Society in the Claims of Individualism.Frederick Stoutland - 1990 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 10 (2):105-137.
  • Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
    It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a theory of reference undermines arguments from reference.
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  • Pressing the Flesh: A Tension in the Study of the Embodied, Embedded Mind.Andy Clark - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):37–59.
    Mind, it is increasingly fashionable to assert, is an intrinsically embodied and environmentally embedded phenomenon. But there is a potential tension between two strands of thought prominent in this recent literature. One of those strands depicts the body as special, and the fine details of a creature’s embodiment as a major constraint on the nature of its mind: a kind of new-wave body-centrism. The other depicts the body as just one element in a kind of equal-partners dance between brain, body (...)
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  • Externalism and Self‐Knowledge: A Puzzle in Two Dimensions.Jordi Fernández - unknown
    The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.
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  • Externalism and Self-Knowledge: A Puzzle in Two Dimensions.Jordi Fernandez - 2004 - European Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):17-37.
    The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.
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  • Human Categories Beyond Non-Essentialism.Ron Mallon - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (2):146–168.
    In recent years, numerous articles and books in the humanities and the social sciences have been devoted to understanding the ascription of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental illness, and other ‘human kind’ concepts to persons. What may be more surprising given the enormous volume of this research and the diversity of its sources is that much of it shares a common commitment to understanding the categories picked out by these concepts in an non- essentialist way. For example, Iris Marion (...)
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  • Multiple Realizability.Eric Funkhouser - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):303–315.
    b>: This article explains the concept of multiple realizability and its role in the philosophy of mind. In particular, I consider what is required for the multiple realizability of psychological kinds, the relevance of multiple realizability to the reducibility and autonomy of psychology, as well as further refinements of the concept that would prove helpful.
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  • Normative Appeals to the Natural.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
    Surprisingly, many ethical realists and anti-realists, naturalists and not, all accept some version of the following normative appeal to the natural (NAN): evaluative and normative facts hold solely in virtue of natural facts, where their naturalness is part of what fits them for the job. This paper argues not that NAN is false but that NAN has no adequate non-parochial justification (a justification that relies only on premises which can be accepted by more or less everyone who accepts NAN) to (...)
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  • Methodological Encounters with the Phenomenal Kind.Nicholas Shea - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):307-344.
    Block’s well-known distinction between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness has generated a large philosophical literature about putative conceptual connections between the two. The scientific literature about whether they come apart in any actual cases is rather smaller. Empirical evidence gathered to date has not settled the issue. Some put this down to a fundamental methodological obstacle to the empirical study of the relation between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. Block (2007) has drawn attention to the methodological puzzle and attempted to (...)
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  • Virtual Symposium on Virtual Mind.Patrick Hayes, Stevan Harnad, Donald Perlis & Ned Block - 1992 - Minds and Machines 2 (3):217-238.
    When certain formal symbol systems (e.g., computer programs) are implemented as dynamic physical symbol systems (e.g., when they are run on a computer) their activity can be interpreted at higher levels (e.g., binary code can be interpreted as LISP, LISP code can be interpreted as English, and English can be interpreted as a meaningful conversation). These higher levels of interpretability are called "virtual" systems. If such a virtual system is interpretable as if it had a mind, is such a "virtual (...)
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  • On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
    Consciousness is a mongrel concept: there are a number of very different "consciousnesses." Phenomenal consciousness is experience; the phenomenally conscious aspect of a state is what it is like to be in that state. The mark of access-consciousness, by contrast, is availability for use in reasoning and rationally guiding speech and action. These concepts are often partly or totally conflated, with bad results. This target article uses as an example a form of reasoning about a function of "consciousness" based on (...)
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  • The Path Not Taken.Daniel Dennett - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):252-253.
    The differences Block attempts to capture with his putative distinction between P-consciousness and A-consciousness are more directly and perspicuously handled in terms of differences in richness of content and degree of influence. Block's critiques, based on his misbegotten distinction, evaporate on closer inspection.
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  • Consciousness Without Conflation.Anthony P. Atkinson & Martin Davies - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):248-249.
    Although information-processing theories cannot provide a full explanatory account of P-consciousness, there is less conflation and confusion in cognitive psychology than Block suspects. Some of the reasoning that Block criticises can be interpreted plausibly in the light of a folk psychological view of the relation between P-consciousness and A-consciousness.
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  • Analyticity and Incorrigibility.Manuel Campos - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):689-708.
    The traditional point of view on analyticity implies that truth in virtue only of meaning entails a priori acceptability and vice versa. The argument for this claim is based on the idea that meaning as it concerns truth and meaning as it concerns competence are one and the same thing. In this paper I argue that the extensions of these notions do not coincide. I hold that truth in virtue of meaning— truth for semantic reasons—doesn't imply a priori acceptability, and (...)
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  • Naturalizing Subjective Character.Uriah Kriegel - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):23-57.
    . When I have a conscious experience of the sky, there is a bluish way it is like for me to have that experience. We may distinguish two aspects of this "bluish way it is like for me": the bluish aspect and the for-me aspect. Let us call the bluish aspect of the experience its qualitative character and the for-me aspect its subjective character . What is this elusive for-me-ness, or subjective character , of conscious experience? In this paper, I (...)
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  • One Dogma of Millianism.Derek Ball & Bryan Pickel - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):70-92.
    Millians about proper names typically claim that it is knowable apriori that Hesperus is Phosphorus. We argue that they should claim instead that it is knowable only aposteriori that Hesperus is Hesperus, since the Kripke-Putnam epistemic arguments against descriptivism are special cases of Quinean arguments that nothing is knowable apriori, and Millians have no resources to resist the more general Quinean arguments.
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  • Whatever Became of the Socratic Elenchus? Philosophical Analysis in Plato.Gareth Matthews - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):439-450.
    Readers who are introduced to philosophical analysis by reading the early Platonic dialogues may be puzzled to find that Plato, in his middle and late periods, largely abandons the style of analysis characteristic of early Plato, namely, the 'Socratic elenchus'. This paper undertakes to solve the puzzle. In contrast to what is popularly called 'the Socratic method', the elenchus requires that Socrates, the lead investigator, not have a satisfactory answer to his 'What is F-ness?' question. Here is the bind. Part (...)
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  • The Dispensability of (Merely) Intentional Objects.Uriah Kriegel - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (1):79-95.
    The ontology of (merely) intentional objects is a can of worms. If we can avoid ontological commitment to such entities, we should. In this paper, I offer a strategy for accomplishing that. This is to reject the traditional act-object account of intentionality in favor of an adverbial account. According to adverbialism about intentionality, having a dragon thought is not a matter of bearing the thinking-about relation to dragons, but of engaging in the activity of thinking dragon-wise.
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  • Intentional Inexistence and Phenomenal Intentionality.Uriah Kriegel - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):307-340.
    How come we can represent Bigfoot even though Bigfoot does not exist, given that representing something involves bearing a relation to it and we cannot bear relations to what does not exist?This is the problem of intentional inexistence. This paper develops a two-step solution to this problem, involving an adverbial account of conscious representation, or phenomenal inten- tionality, and the thesis that all representation derives from conscious representation. The solution is correspondingly two-part: we can consciously represent Bigfoot because consciously representing (...)
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  • The Representationalism Versus Relationalism Debate: Explanatory Contextualism About Perception.Bence Nanay - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):321-336.
    There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. Perceptual (...)
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  • The Role of Theory-Constitutive Metaphor in Nursing Science.Jennifer Greenwood & Ann Bonner - 2008 - Nursing Philosophy 9 (3):154-168.
    The current view of theoretical statements in science is that they should be literal and precise; ambiguous and metaphorical statements are useful only as pre-theoretical, exegetical, and heuristic devices and as pedagogical tools. In this paper we argue that this view is mistaken. Literal, precise statements apply to those experiential phenomena which can be defined either conventionally by criterial attribution or by internal atomic constitution. Experiential phenomena which are defined relationally and/or functionally, like nursing, in virtue of their nature, require (...)
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  • Projection, Symmetry, and Natural Kinds.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3617-3646.
    Scientific practice involves two kinds of induction. In one, generalizations are drawn about the states of a particular system of variables. In the other, generalizations are drawn across systems in a class. We can discern two questions of correctness about both kinds of induction: what distinguishes those systems and classes of system that are ‘projectible’ in Goodman’s sense from those that are not, and what are the methods by which we are able to identify kinds that are likely to be (...)
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  • A Multiple Realization Thesis for Natural Kinds.Kevin Lynch - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):389-406.
    Two important thought-experiments are associated with the work of Hilary Putnam, one designed to establish multiple realizability for mental kinds, the other designed to establish essentialism for natural kinds. Comparing the thought-experiments with each other reveals that the scenarios in both are structurally analogous to each other, though his intuitions in both are greatly at variance, intuitions that have been simultaneously well received. The intuition in the former implies a thesis that prioritizes pre-scientific over scientific indicators for identifying mental kinds (...)
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  • Limitations of Natural Kind Talk in the Life Sciences: Homology and Other Cases. [REVIEW]Miles MacLeod - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):109-120.
    The aim of this article is to detail some reservations against the beliefs, claims, or presuppositions that current essentialist natural kind concepts (including homeostatic property cluster kinds) model grouping practices in the life sciences accurately and generally. Such concepts fit reasoning into particular preconceived epistemic and semantic patterns. The ability of these patterns to fit scientific practice is often argued in support of homeostatic property cluster accounts, yet there are reasons to think that in the life sciences kind concepts exhibit (...)
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  • Stoljar’s Twin-Physics World.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):127-136.
    In his recent book Physicalism, Daniel Stoljar argues that there is no version of physicalism that is both true and deserving of the name. His argument employs a variation of Hilary Putnam’s famous twin-earth story, which Stoljar calls “the twin-physics world.” In this paper, I challenge Stoljar’s use of the twin-physics world. The upshot of that challenge, I argue, is that Stoljar fails to show, concerning the versions of physicalism for which he grants the possibility of being true, that none (...)
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  • Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):201-224.
    In this article, against the background of a notion of ‘assembled’ truth, the evolutionary progressiveness of a theory is suggested as novel and promising explanation for the success of science. A new version of realism in science, referred to as ‘naturalised realism’ is outlined. Naturalised realism is ‘fallibilist’ in the unique sense that it captures and mimics the self-corrective core of scientific knowledge and its progress. It is argued that naturalised realism disarms Kyle Stanford’s anti-realist ‘new induction’ threats by showing (...)
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  • Rule Following: A Pedestrian Approach.Masahiro Yamada - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):283-311.
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  • Intuitions and Semantic Theory.Henry Jackman - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (3):363-380.
    While engaged in the analysis of topics such as the nature of knowledge, meaning, or justice, analytic philosophers have traditionally relied extensively on their own intuitions about when the relevant terms can, and can't, be correctly applied. Consequently, if intuitions about possible cases turned out not to be a reliable tool for the proper analysis of philosophically central concepts, then a radical reworking of philosophy's (or at least analytic philosophy's) methodology would seem to be in order. It is thus not (...)
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  • Expression, Thought, and Language.Henry Jackman - 2003 - Philosophia 31 (1-2):33-54.
    This paper discusses an "expressive constraint" on accounts of thought and language which requires that when a speaker expresses a belief by sincerely uttering a sentence, the utterance and the belief have the same content. It will be argued that this constraint should be viewed as expressing a conceptual connection between thought and language rather than a mere empirical generalization about the two. However, the most obvious accounts of the relation between thought and language compatible with the constraint (giving an (...)
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  • Radical Interpretation and the Permutation Principle.Henry Jackman - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (3):317-326.
    Davidson has claimed that to conclude that reference is inscrutable, one must assume that "If some theory of truth... is satisfactory in the light of all relevant evidence... then any theory that is generated from the first theory by a permutation will also be satisfactory in the light of all relevant evidence." However, given that theories of truth are not directly read off the world, but rather serve as parts of larger theories of behavior, this assumption is far from self-evident. (...)
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  • Things That Make Things Reasonable.John Gibbons - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):335-361.
    One fairly common view about practical reason has it that whether you have a reason to act is not determined by what you know, or believe, or are justified in believing. Your reasons are determined by the facts. Perhaps there are two kinds of reasons, and however it goes with motivating reasons, normative reasons are determined by the facts, not your take on the facts. One fairly common version of this view has it that what's reasonable for you to do (...)
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  • The Logic of Thought Experiments.Martin Bunzl - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):227 - 240.
    In this paper I argue that (at least many) philosophical thought experiments are unreliable. But I argue that this notion of unreliability has to be understood relative to the goal of thought experiments as knowledge producing. And relative to that goal many thought experiments in science are just as unreliable. But in fact thought experiments in science play a varied role and I will suggest that knowledge production is a goal only under quite limited circumstances. I defend the view that (...)
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  • Essentialist Beliefs About Bodily Transplants in the United States and India.Meredith Meyer, Sarah-Jane Leslie, Susan A. Gelman & Sarah M. Stilwell - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (1):668-710.
    Psychological essentialism is the belief that some internal, unseen essence or force determines the common outward appearances and behaviors of category members. We investigated whether reasoning about transplants of bodily elements showed evidence of essentialist thinking. Both Americans and Indians endorsed the possibility of transplants conferring donors' personality, behavior, and luck on recipients, consistent with essentialism. Respondents also endorsed essentialist effects even when denying that transplants would change a recipient's category membership (e.g., predicting that a recipient of a pig's heart (...)
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  • A Neglected Account of Perception.Tom Stoneham - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (3):307-322.
    I aim to draw the reader's attention to an easily overlooked account of perception, namely that there are no perceptual experiences, that to perceive something is to stand in an external, purely non-Leibnizian relation to it. I introduce the Purely Relational account of perception by discussing a case of it being overlooked in the writings of G.E. Moore, though we also find the same move in J. Cook Wilson, so it has nothing to do with an affection for sense-data. I (...)
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  • Saving the Intuitions: Polylithic Reference.Ioannis Votsis - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):121 - 137.
    My main aim in this paper is to clarify the concepts of referential success and of referential continuity that are so crucial to the scientific realism debate. I start by considering the three dominant theories of reference and the intuitions that motivate each of them. Since several intuitions cited in support of one theory conflict with intuitions cited in support of another something has to give way. The traditional policy has been to reject all intuitions that clash with a chosen (...)
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  • Conjuring Ethics From Words.Jonathan McKeown-Green, Glen Pettigrove & Aness Webster - 2015 - Noûs 49 (1):71-93.
    Many claims about conceptual matters are often represented as, or inferred from, claims about the meaning, reference, or mastery, of words. But sometimes this has led to treating conceptual analysis as though it were nothing but linguistic analysis. We canvass the most promising justifications for moving from linguistic premises to substantive conclusions. We show that these justifications fail and argue against current practice (in metaethics and elsewhere), which confuses an investigation of a word’s meaning, reference, or competence conditions with an (...)
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  • Constructing Commitment: Brandom's Pragmatist Take on Rule‐Following.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2012 - Philosophical Investigations 35 (2):101-126.
    According to a standard criticism, Robert Brandom's “normative pragmatics”, i.e. his attempt to explain normative statuses in terms of practical attitudes, faces a dilemma. If practical attitudes and their interactions are specified in purely non-normative terms, then they underdetermine normative statuses; but if normative terms are allowed into the account, then the account becomes viciously circular. This paper argues that there is no dilemma, because the feared circularity is not vicious. While normative claims do exhibit their respective authors' practical attitudes (...)
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  • Semantic Externalism, Language Variation, and Sociolinguistic Accommodation.Daniel Lassiter - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (5):607-633.
    Abstract: Chomsky (1986) has claimed that the prima facie incompatibility between descriptive linguistics and semantic externalism proves that an externalist semantics is impossible. Although it is true that a strong form of externalism does not cohere with descriptive linguistics, sociolinguistic theory can unify the two approaches. The resulting two-level theory reconciles descriptivism, mentalism, and externalism by construing community languages as a function of social identification. This approach allows a fresh look at names and definite descriptions while also responding to Chomsky's (...)
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  • Boghossian’s Inference Argument Against Content Externalism Reversed.Manuel Pérez Otero - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):159-181.
    I deal here with one of Boghossian’s arguments against content externalism, related to our inferential rationality (to use his term). According to his reasoning, the apriority of our logical abilities is inconsistent with certain externalist assumptions. Nevertheless, the problem constitutes an important challenge for any theory of content, not just for externalism. Furthermore, when we examine what internalists may propose to solve the problem, we see that externalists have at their disposal a more promising repertoire of possible replies than internalists. (...)
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  • Internalism, Externalism, and Transcendental Idealism.Dan Zahavi - 2008 - Synthese 160 (3):355-374.
    The analyses of the mind–world relation offered by transcendental idealists such as Husserl have often been dismissed with the argument that they remain committed to an outdated form of internalism. The first move in this paper will be to argue that there is a tight link between Husserl’s transcendental idealism and what has been called phenomenological externalism, and that Husserl’s endorsement of the former commits him to a version of the latter. Secondly, it will be shown that key elements in (...)
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  • A Dualist-Interactionist Perspective.John C. Eccles - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):430-431.
  • Conceivability and De Re Modal Knowledge.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):22-49.
    The paper presents a dilemma for both epistemic and non-epistemic versions of conceivability-based accounts of modal knowledge. On the one horn, non-epistemic accounts do not elucidate the essentialist knowledge they would be committed to. On the other, epistemic accounts do not elucidate everyday life de re modal knowledge. In neither case, therefore, do conceivability accounts elucidate de re modal knowledge.
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  • The Reductionist Blind Spot.Russ Abbott - 2008 - Complexity 14 (5):10-22.
    Can there be higher level laws of nature even though everything is reducible to the fundamental laws of physics? The computer science notion of level of abstraction explains how there can be.
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  • Direct Knowledge and Other Minds.Åsa Wikforss - 2004 - Theoria 70 (2-3):271-293.
  • Pluralism and the Unity of Science.Angela Breitenbach & Yoon Choi - 2017 - The Monist 100 (3):391-405.
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