Two-dimensionalism and the epistemology of recognition

Philosophical Studies 142 (3):427 - 445 (2009)
Authors
Markos Valaris
University of New South Wales
Abstract
There is reason to expect a reasonable account of a priori knowledge to be linked with an account of the nature of conceptual thought. Recent “two-dimensionalist” accounts of conceptual thought propose an extremely direct connection between the two: on such views, being in a position to know a priori a large number of non-trivial propositions is a necessary condition of concept-possession. In this paper I criticize this view, by arguing that it requires an implausibly internalist and intellectualist conception of capacities we bring to bear in applying concepts in experience. Empirical concept-application depends on the exercise of a variety of capacities, many of which can be grouped together under the general label “recognitional”. As I argue, two-dimensionalism cannot accommodate a plausible account of such capacities. This suggests that the link between a priori knowledge and the nature of conceptual thought is not as direct as twodimensionalists take it to be. I close by briefly sketching a different way to think of that link.
Keywords Two-dimensionalism  Recognition  Epistemic intension  A priori  Externalism  Internalism  David Chalmers  Stephen Yablo  Frank Jackson
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-007-9195-8
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The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Does Conceivability Entail Possibility?David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.

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