Tim Crane on the internalism-externalism debate

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (11):207-218 (2004)
The subject of this paper is the debate between externalism and internalism about mental content presented by Tim Crane in Chapter 4 of his book Elements of Mind. Crane’s sympathies in this debate are with internalism. The paper attempts to show that Crane’s argumentation is not refuting the Twin Earth argument and externalism, and that in its basis it does not differ much from externalism itself Crane’s version of the argument for externalism features two key premises: (1) The content of a thought determines what the thought is about/what it refers to (the Content Determines Reference Principle); and (2) Twins are referring to different things when they use the word “water”. From these, in a few simple steps, Crane’s externalist infers: Therefore, their thoughts are not “in their heads”. Crane suggests denying the Content Determines Reference Principle in the light of indexical thoughts. In the first stage, Crane reduces “content” to “some aspect of content”, although he needs all aspects of content to secure identity of thoughts. However, his view then comes close to something acceptable to externalists. In the second stage, Crane makes content relative to context, but then reference still determines content
Keywords Content  Epistemology  Externalism  Internalism  Crane, T
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DOI croatjphil20044214
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