Erkenntnis 72 (1):73-92 (2010)

Simon Dierig
University of Heidelberg
The first explicit argument for the incompatibility of externalism in the philosophy of mind and a priori self-knowledge is Boghossian’s discrimination argument. In this essay, I oppose the third premise of this argument, trying to show by means of a thought experiment that possessing the “twater thought” is not an alternative, a fortiori not a relevant alternative, to having the “water thought.” I then examine a modified version of Boghossian’s argument. The attempt is made to substantiate the claim that the standard incompatibilist support for its second premise is untenable. Furthermore, a third Boghossian-style argument is rejected on the ground that either its second premise cannot be warranted in the way suggested by incompatibilists or its third premise is mistaken because having the “twater thought” instead of the “water thought” is not relevant. Finally, it is argued that the discrimination argument cannot be saved by invoking closure. The upshot of my discussion is that a compatibilist can dismiss Boghossian-style arguments for incompatibilism without having to deal with fundamental issues concerning self-knowledge and the nature of slow switching.
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2009, 2010
DOI 10.1007/s10670-009-9191-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

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

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

View all 49 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Compensatory Discrimination.J. P. Day - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (215):55 - 72.
Compensatory Discrimination.Patrick Day - 1981 - Philosophy 56:55.
Two Kinds of Discrimination.Adrian Piper - 1993 - In Bernard Boxill (ed.), Race and Racism. Oxford University Press.
Discrimination and Income Inequality.June Ellenoff O'Neill - 1987 - Social Philosophy and Policy 5 (1):169.
Effect of Discrimination Reversal on Human Discrimination Learning.Richard D. Walk - 1952 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 44 (6):410.
Genetically Based Handicap.Alan Holland - 1998 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (2):119–132.


Added to PP index

Total views
100 ( #116,764 of 2,505,162 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,142 of 2,505,162 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes