Dialectica 60 (4):433-445 (2006)

Authors
Maria Lasonen-Aarnio
University of Helsinki
Abstract
I look at incompatibilist arguments aimed at showing that the conjunction of the thesis that a subject has privileged, a priori access to the contents of her own thoughts, on the one hand, and of semantic externalism, on the other, lead to a putatively absurd conclusion, namely, a priori knowledge of the external world. I focus on arguments involving a variety of externalism resulting from the singularity or object‐dependence of certain terms such as the demonstrative ‘that’. McKinsey argues that incompatibilist arguments employing such externalist theses are at their strongest, and conclusively show that privileged access must be rejected. While I agree on the truth of the relevant externalist theses, I show that all plausible versions of the incompatibilist reductio argument as applied to such theses are fundamentally flawed, for these versions of the argument must make assumptions that lead to putatively absurd knowledge of the external world independently of the thesis of privileged access.
Keywords privileged access  semantic externalism  McKinsey's argument
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DOI 10.1111/dltc.2006.60.issue-4
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.

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Citations of this work BETA

Recent Work on McKinsey's Paradox.J. Kallestrup - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):157-171.

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