Publicity, externalism and inner states

In Tomáš Marvan (ed.), What Determines Content?: The Internalism/Externalism Dispute. Cambridge Scholars Press (2006)
The critic Cyril Connolly once pointed out that diarists don’t make novelists. He went on to describe the problem for the would-be writer. “Writing for oneself: no public. Writing for others: no privacy” (Cyril Connolly, Journal). This paper addresses Connolly's worry about the public ad private: how can we reconcile the inner and conscious dimension of speech with its outer and public dimension? For if what people mean by their words involves, or consists in, what they have in mind when they speak then how can what someone has in mind — the meaning she attaches to her words — be at the same time publicly accessible to others on the basis of her behaviour? The issue is whether there is a notion of the linguistic meaning of an expression that can do justice to both speakers’ inner experience of comprehension and to what is outwardly available in their public practice.
Keywords Privacy and Publicity of Meaning  First-person linguistic authority  Understanding others
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