Curing folk psychology of arthritis

Philosophical Studies 70 (3):323-36 (1993)
Abstract
Tyler Burge's (1979) famous thought experiment concerning 'arthritis' is commonly assumed to show that all ascriptions of content to beliefs and other attitudes are dependent for their truth upon facts about the agent's social and linguistic environment. It is also commonly claimed that Burge's argument shows that Putnam's (1975) result regarding natural kind terms applies to all general terms whatever, and hence shows that all such terms have wide meanings.1 But I wish to show here, first, that neither Burge's initial thought experiment nor a second type of example that Burge describes supports either of these conclusions. Second, I will identify the proper conclusion to draw from Burge's discussion and show that this conclusion does not really pose a serious problem for individualism about the mental. And finally, I will argue that Burge's discussion does not in fact provide a conclusive reason for believing its proper conclusion.
Keywords Epistemology  Folk Psychology  Truth
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DOI 10.1007/BF00990119
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References found in this work BETA
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hilary 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.
Mental Content.Colin McGinn - 1989 - Blackwell.
Mental Anaphora.Michael Mckinsey - 1986 - Synthese 66 (1):159 - 175.

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Social Externalism and Conceptual Errors.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):217-31.

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