Boghossian on externalism and privileged access

Analysis 59 (1):52-59 (1999)
Abstract
Boghossian has argued that Putnam's externalism is incompatible with privileged access, i.e., the claim that a subject can have nonempirical knowledge of her thought contents ('What the externalist can know a priori', PAS 1997). Boghossian's argument assumes that Oscar can know a priori that (1) 'water' aims to name a natural kind; and (2) 'water' expresses an atomic concept. However, I show that if Burge's externalism is correct, then these assumptions may well be false. This leaves Boghossian with two options: (a) (heroically) to show that Burge's externalism is false; or (b) to reformulate the argument such that it does not require the two assumptions in question. I suggest one way of reformulating the argument
Keywords Externalism  Individualism  Metaphysics  Boghossian, P  Mckinsey, M
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DOI 10.1093/analys/59.1.52
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