Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):399-424 (2008)

Authors
Asa Maria Wikforss
Stockholm University
Abstract
The question of whether content externalism poses a threat to the traditional view of self-knowledge has been much debated. Compatibilists have tried to diffuse the threat by appealing to the self-verifying character of reflexive judgments about our own thoughts, while incompatibilists have strenuously objected that this does not suffice. In my paper I argue that this debate is fundamentally misconceived since it is based, on both sides, on the problematic notion of ‘knowledge of content’. What this shows, I argue, is not that content externalism is unobjectionable, but that the real challenge to content externalism is not an epistemological one. The real difficulty concerns the content externalist’s seemingly necessary commitment to the idea that individuals have an incomplete grasp of the concepts that go into their own thoughts. This idea poses a threat not to self-knowledge, I argue, but rather to our first- and second-order reasoning abilities.
Keywords externalism, self-knowledge, Burge, incomplete understanding, rationality
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DOI 10.1353/cjp.0.0024
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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.
Knowing One's Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.

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Citations of this work BETA

Extended Belief and Extended Knowledge.Åsa Wikforss - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):460-481.
Externalism and “Knowing What” One Thinks.T. Parent - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1337-1350.

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