Sanford Goldberg argues for Content Externalism by drawing our attention to the extent to which an individual’s concepts depend on the concepts of others. More specifically, he focuses on cases that involve knowledge transmission between experts and non-experts to make his point. In this paper, I argue that the content internalist cannot only plausibly respond to his argument but that ContentInternalism offers a more plausible account of intentional content with regard to knowledge transmission than (...) does Content Externalism. (shrink)
In this paper I consider a recent argument of Timothy Williamson’s that epistemic internalism and content externalism are indeed incompatible, and since he takes content externalism to be above reproach, so much the worse for epistemic internalism. However, I argue that epistemic internalism, properly understood, remains substantially unaffected no matter which view of content turns out to be correct. What is key to the New Evil Genius thought experiment is that, given everything of which (...) the inhabitants are consciously aware, the two worlds are subjectively indistinguishable for them, which is what matters on internalist accounts of epistemic justification. I argue that even if a standard moral of the New Evil Genius intuition is untenable due to considerations arising from content externalism, the case can be understood as supporting epistemic internalism in a way that is wholly compatible with content externalism. In short, epistemic internalism is committed to sameness of justificatory status between subjectively indistinguishable counterparts, not sameness of content of their justifiers. (shrink)
Whereas a number of recent articles have focussed upon whether the thesis of content externalism is compatible with a certain sort of knowledge that is gained via first-person authority,1 far less attention has been given to the relationship that this thesis bears to the possession of knowledge in general and, in particular, its relation to internalist and externalist epistemologies. Nevertheless, although very few actual arguments have been presented to this end, there does seem to be a shared suspicion that (...)content externalism must be incompatible with epistemic internalism. In a recent and influential paper, however, James Chase has challenged this conventional wisdom by offering a subtle defence of the view that content externalism and epistemic internalism are, in fact, compatible after all.2 Our aim here is twofold. First, to show that Chase is only able to achieve this result because he focuses upon the internalist conception of justification, rather than knowledge. Second, to formulate one prima facie argument which shows that an internalist conception of knowledge is incompatible with an externalist conception of content, an argument which, moreover, is not touched by Chase. (shrink)
Two arguments against the compatibility of epistemic internalism and content externalism are considered. Both arguments are shown to fail, because they equivocate on the concept of justification involved in their premises. To spell out the involved equivocation, a distinction between subjective and objective justification is introduced, which can also be independently motivated on the basis of a wide range of thought experiments to be found in the mainstream literature on epistemology. The subjective/objective justification distinction is also ideally suited (...) for providing new insights with respect to central issues within epistemology, including the internalism/externalism debate and the New Evil Demon intuition. (shrink)
Externalism holds, and internalism denies, that the individuation of many of an individual's mental states (e.g., thoughts about the physical world) depends necessarily on relations that individual bears to the physical and/or social environment. Many philosophers, externalists and internalists alike, believe that introspection yields knowledge of the contents of our thoughts that is direct and authoritative. It is not obvious, however, that the metaphysical claims of externalism are compatible with this epistemological thesis. Some (e.g., Burge, 1988; Falvey and Owens (...) (F&O), 1994) have sought to dispel the worry that there is a conflict, though they admit that if such a conflict exists, it spells trouble for externalism (see, e.g., F&O, 1994, p. 108). Boghossian has argued that there is indeed a conflict between externalism and introspective knowledge of content. Surprisingly, however, he also argues that there is a conflict between internalism and introspective knowledge of content. I will defend Boghossian's claim that there is a conflict between externalism and knowledge of content, but criticize his claim that there is a conflict between internalism and knowledge of content. (shrink)
Properly understood, contentinternalism is the thesis that any difference between the representational contents of two individuals' mental states reduces to a difference in those individuals' intrinsic properties. Some of the strongest arguments against internalism turn on the possibility for two "doppelgangers" –- perfect physical and phenomenal duplicates -– to differ with respect to the contents of those of their mental states that they can express using terms such as "I," "here," and "now." In this paper, I (...) grant the stated possibility, but deny that it poses any threat to internalism. Despite their similarities, doppelgangers differ in some of their intrinsic properties, and it is to such intrinsic differences that differences of indexical content reduce. (shrink)
At first pass, internalism about justification is the view that there is no justificatory difference without an internal difference. Externalism about mental content is the view that there are differences in mental content without an internal difference. Assuming mental contents are the primary bearers of justificatory features, the two views are in obvious tension. The goal of this paper is to determine how the tension is best resolved. The paper proceeds as follows. In §1 I explain the (...) threat to justificatory internalism from content externalism in more detail. In §2 I present Earl Conee and Richard Feldman’s “counterpart propositions” reply to the problem of content externalism. §3 criticizes the counterpart propositions reply. §4 presents a view in the metaphysics of belief that is widely adopted by content externalists: one that appeals to vehicles of content, modes of presentation of content, or ways of believing propositions. §5 exploits this metaphysics of belief in order to better accommodate justificatory internalist insights in light of content externalism. §6 shows how the new view can be used to address problems that face Conee and Feldman’s account. Finally, §7 provides a new argument from the Vehicle View for the language of thought hypothesis. (shrink)
Despite the fact that many of our beliefs are justified by perceptual experience, there is relatively little exploration of the connections between epistemic justification and perceptual content. This is unfortunate since it seems likely that some views of justification will require particular views of content, and the package of the two might be quite a bit less attractive than either view considered alone. I will argue that this is the case for epistemic internalism. In particular, epistemic (...) class='Hi'>internalism requires a view of perceptual content that results in an error theory of perception. This, in turn, hobbles the internalist’s account of perceptual justification. While there are various stages along the way at which one can resist the argument, each one will involve significant commitments that highlight heretofore unacknowledged connections between justification and content. Even if the internalist is willing to make these moves and resist the argument, the argument reveals a novel way for the epistemic externalist to resist one of internalism’s main arguments. (shrink)
While recent debates over content externalism have been mainly concerned with whether it undermines the traditional thesis of privileged self‐knowledge, little attention has been paid to what bearing content externalism has on such important controversies as the internalism/externalism debate in epistemology. With a few exceptions, the question has either been treated as a side issue in discussions concerning the implications of content externalism, or has been dealt with in a cursory way in debates over the (...) class='Hi'>internalism/externalism distinction in justification theory. In this paper, I begin by considering some of the arguments that have sought to address the question, focusing mainly on Boghossian's pioneering attempt in bringing the issue to the fore.1 It will be argued that Boghossian's attempt to exploit the alleged non‐inferentiality of self‐knowledge to show that content externalism and justification internalism are incompatible fails.In the course of this examination, I consider and reject as inadequate some recent responses to Boghossian's argument . I then turn to evaluating Chase's own proposed argument to show how content externalism can be brought to bear on the internalism/externalism debate in epistemology, and find it wanting. Finally, having discussed BonJour's terse remarks in this connection,3 I set out to present, what I take to be, the strongest argument for the incompatibility of content externalism and justification internalism while highlighting the controversial character of one of its main premises. Let us, however, begin by drawing the contours of the debate. (shrink)
There is widespread suspicion that there is a principled conflict between epistemic internalism and content externalism (or anti-individualism). Despite the prominence of this suspicion, it has rarely been substantiated by explicit arguments. However, Duncan Pritchard and Jesper Kallestrup have recently provided a prima facie argument concluding that internalism about knowledge and externalism about content are incompatible. I criticize the incompatibilist argument and conclude that the purported incompatibility is, at best, prima facie. This is, in part, because (...) several steps in the argument are faulty and, in part, because there are promising responses available to the compatibilists. (shrink)
According to ‘internalism’, what mental states people are in depends wholly on what obtains inside their heads. This paper challenges that view without relying on arguments about the identity‐conditions of concepts that make up the content of mental states. Instead, it questions the internalist’s underlying assumption that, in Searle’s words, “the brain is all we have for the purpose of representing the world to ourselves”, which neglects the fact that human beings have used their brains to devise methods (...) for extending and enhancing the brain’s own functions, in particular for storing information externally. Although Popper draws attention to this fact, he fails to grasp its psychological implications, concluding instead that there can be knowledge “without a knowing subject”, and so repeating the internalist’s mistake. With equal justice one can conclude, absurdly, that there are ownerless plans, resolutions and shopping‐lists. The paper goes on to meet possible internalist counter‐arguments. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophy and theoretical psychology are dominated by an acceptance of content-externalism: the view that the contents of one's mental states are constitutively, as opposed to causally, dependent on facts about the external world. In the present work, it is shown that content-externalism involves a failure to distinguish between semantics and pre-semantics---between, on the one hand, the literal meanings of expressions and, on the other hand, the information that one must exploit in order to ascertain their literal meanings. (...) It is further shown that, given the falsity of content-externalism, the falsity of the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) follows. It is also shown that CTM involves a misunderstanding of terms such as "computation," "syntax," "algorithm," and "formal truth." Novel analyses of the concepts expressed by these terms are put forth. These analyses yield clear, intuition-friendly, and extensionally correct answers to the questions "what are propositions?, "what is it for a proposition to be true?", and "what are the logical and psychological differences between conceptual (propositional) and non-conceptual (non-propositional) content?" Naively taking literal meaning to be in lockstep with cognitive content, Burge, Salmon, Falvey, and other semantic externalists have wrongly taken Kripke's correct semantic views to justify drastic and otherwise contraindicated revisions of commonsense. (Salmon: What is non-existent exists; at a given time, one can rationally accept a proposition and its negation. Burge: Somebody who is having a thought may be psychologically indistinguishable from somebody who is thinking nothing. Falvey: somebody who rightly believes himself to be thinking about water is psychologically indistinguishable from somebody who wrongly thinks himself to be doing so and who, indeed, isn't thinking about anything.) Given a few truisms concerning the differences between thought-borne and sentence-borne information, the data is easily modeled without conceding any legitimacy to any one of these rationality-dismantling atrocities. (It thus turns out, ironically, that no one has done more to undermine Kripke's correct semantic points than Kripke's own followers!). (shrink)
Externalism holds, and internalism denies, that the individuation of many of an individual’s mental states depends necessarily on relations that individual bears to the physical and/or social environment. Many philosophers, externalists and internalists alike, believe that introspection yields knowledge of the contents of our thoughts that is direct and authoritative. It is not obvious, however, that the metaphysical claims of externalism are compatible with this epistemological thesis. Some, 1994) have sought to dispel the worry that there is a conflict, (...) though they admit that if such a contlict exists, it spells trouble for externalism. Boghossian has argued that there is indeed a conflict between externalism and introspective knowledge of content. Surprisingly, however, he also argues that there is a conflict between internalism and introspective knowledge of content. I will defend Boghossian’s claim that there is a conflict between externalism and knowledge of content, but criticize his claim that there is a conflict between internalism and knowledge of content. (shrink)
While recent debates over content externalism have been mainly concerned with whether it undermines the traditional thesis of privileged self‐knowledge, little attention has been paid to what bearing content externalism has on such important controversies as the internalism/externalism debate in epistemology. With a few exceptions, the question has either been treated as a side issue in discussions concerning the implications of content externalism, or has been dealt with in a cursory way in debates over the (...) class='Hi'>internalism/externalism distinction in justification theory. In this paper, I begin by considering some of the arguments that have sought to address the question, focusing mainly on Boghossian's pioneering attempt in bringing the issue to the fore.1 It will be argued that Boghossian's attempt to exploit the alleged non‐inferentiality of self‐knowledge to show that content externalism and justification internalism are incompatible fails.In the course of this examination, I consider and reject as inadequate some recent responses to Boghossian's argument. I then turn to evaluating Chase's own proposed argument to show how content externalism can be brought to bear on the internalism/externalism debate in epistemology, and find it wanting. Finally, having discussed BonJour's terse remarks in this connection,3 I set out to present, what I take to be, the strongest argument for the incompatibility of content externalism and justification internalism while highlighting the controversial character of one of its main premises. Let us, however, begin by drawing the contours of the debate. (shrink)
Some content externalists claim that if C is a theoretical concept and “C” expresses C, then the content of C in a community at a time is determined by how some members of the community at the time—call them “experts”—understand C or use “C”. Thus, when non-expert Chauncey utters “C”, the content of the concept he expresses does not depend entirely on his intrinsic physical properties, contra the claims of contentinternalism. This paper proposes that (...) “concept” expresses a theoretical concept, such that the externalist’s insights should apply to how we understand claims expressing the view itself and to how we evaluate the arguments alleged to motivate it. With respect to the first, I argue that the content externalist should regard it as unclear at present which proposition her theory expresses, and should take it that content externalism teaches us about our linguistic community rather than about the metaphysical nature of concepts. With respect to the second, I argue that by externalism’s own lights, the famous externalist thought experiments shouldn’t establish content externalism. In conclusion, I suggest that making sense of content externalism requires presupposing internalism. (shrink)
How are the contents of our beliefs, our intentions, and other attitudes individuated? Just what makes our contents what they are? Content externalism, as Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge, and others have argued, is the position that our contents depend in a constitutive manner on items in the external world, that they can be individuated by our causal interaction with the items they are about. Contentinternalism, by contrast, is the position that our contents depend primarily on the (...) properties of our bodies, such as our brains. Internalists, moreover, typically hold that our contents are narrow, insofar as they locally supervene on the properties of our bodies or brains. In this article surveys the arguments and problems for these contrasting positions. (shrink)
SummaryIn this paper I discuss two influential views in the philosophy of mind: the two‐component picture draws a distinction between ‘narrow content’ and ‘broad content’, while radical externalism denies that there is such a thing as narrow content. I argue that ‘narrow content’ is ambiguous, and that the two views can be reconciled. Instead of considering that there is only one question and three possible answers corresponding to Cartesian internalism, the two‐component picture, and radical externalism (...) respectively, I show that there are two distinct questions: ‘Are mental contents internal to the individual?’ and, ‘Are mental contents analysable in two‐components?’ Both questions can be given a positive or a negative answer, in such a way that there are four, rather than three, possible views to be distinguished. The extra view whose possibility emerges in this framework is that which mixes radical externalism with the two‐component picture. It agrees with radical externalism that there cannot be ‘solipsistic’ contents: content is not an intrinsic property of the states of an individual organism, but a relational property. It also agrees with the two‐component picture, on a certain interpretation: the broad content of a psychological state depends upon what actually causes that state, but the narrow content depends only on what normally causes this type of state to occur. In the last section of the paper, I deal with internal representation which seem to be independent even of the normal environment. I show that such contents are themselves independent of the normal environment only in a relative sense: they are locally independent of the normal environment, yet still depend on it via the concepts to which they are connected in the concept system. (shrink)
Internalism about mental content holds that microphysical duplicates must be mental duplicates full-stop. Anyone particle-for-particle indiscernible from someone who believes that Aristotle was wise, for instance, must share that same belief. Externalism instead contends that many perfectly ordinary propositional attitudes can be had only in certain sorts of physical, sociolinguistic, or historical context. To have a belief about Aristotle, for instance, a person must have been causally impacted in the right way by Aristotle himself (e.g., by hearing about (...) him, or reading some of his works).An interesting third view, which I call. (shrink)
The subject of this paper is the debate between externalism and internalism about mental content presented by Tim Crane in Chapter 4 of his book Elements of Mind. Crane’s sympathies in this debate are with internalism. The paper attempts to show that Crane’s argumentation is not refuting the Twin Earth argument and externalism, and that in its basis it does not differ much from externalism itself Crane’s version of the argument for externalism features two key premises: (1) (...) The content of a thought determines what the thought is about/what it refers to (the Content Determines Reference Principle); and (2) Twins are referring to different things when they use the word “water”. From these, in a few simple steps, Crane’s externalist infers: Therefore, their thoughts are not “in their heads”. Crane suggests denying the Content Determines Reference Principle in the light of indexical thoughts. In the first stage, Crane reduces “content” to “some aspect of content”, although he needs all aspects of content to secure identity of thoughts. However, his view then comes close to something acceptable to externalists. In the second stage, Crane makes content relative to context, but then reference still determines content. (shrink)
It can be said that Wittgenstein"s Private Language Argument initiated the internalism-externalism dilemma. In one of its interpretations the argument is read as a criticism of methodological solipsism. Internalism, in turn, assumes that methodological solipsism is an adequate account of mental content. Therefore some externalists refer to Wittgenstein as their forerunner. I argue, first, that the Private Language Argument does not support the claim of externalism that meanings are not in the head, even though it undermines methodological (...) solipsism. I also claim that both internalism and externalism are not free from serious problems. Therefore we need a view that goes beyond the distinction in hand. To arrive at such a view I examine John Searle"s account of mental content and argue that the real tension within the theory of content is between the first-person and the third-person point of view. (shrink)
Recent philosophy of psychology has seen the rise of so-called "dual-component" and "two-dimensional" theories of mental content as what I call a "Middle Way" between internalism (the view that contents of states like belief are "narrow") and externalism (the view that by and large, such contents are "wide"). On these Middle Way views, mental states are supposed to have two kinds of content: the "folk-psychological" kind, which we ordinarily talk about and which is wide; and some non-folk-psychological (...) kind which is narrow. Jerry Fodor is responsible for one of the most influential arguments that we need to believe in some such non-folk-psychological kind of content. In this paper I argue that the ideas behind Fodor's premises are mutually inconsistent - so it would be irrational to believe in a Middle Way theory of mental content no matter how many of Fodor's premises you find plausible. Common opinion notwithstanding, we have to choose between internalism and externalism, full-stop. (shrink)
The classic thought experiments for Content Externalism have been motivated by consideration of intentional states with a mind-to-world direction of fit. In this paper, I argue that when these experiments are run on intentional states with a world-to-mind direction of fit, the thought experiments actually support ContentInternalism. Because of this, I argue that the classic thought experiments alone cannot properly motivate Content Externalism. I do not show that Content Externalism is false in this paper, (...) just that it cannot be motivated by the classic thought experiments alone. I discuss various externalist responses to the argument I raise and show that they all fail. (shrink)
On the dominant interpretation, Ockham is an externalist about mental content. This reading is founded principally on his theory of intuitive cognition. Intuitive cognition plays a foundational role in Ockham’s account of concept formation and judgment, and Ockham insists that the content of intuitive states is determined by the causal relations such states bear to their objects. The aim of this paper is to challenge the externalist interpretation by situating Ockham’s account of intuitive cognition vis-à-vis his broader account (...) of efficient causation. While there can be no doubt that intuitive states are causally individuated, I argue that, given Ockham’s broader theory of efficient causation (on which causation turns out to be an internal relation), this very fact entails that the content of such states is determined by factors internal (rather than external) to the states themselves. (shrink)
A new position in the philosophy of mind has recently appeared: the extended mind hypothesis (EMH). Some of its proponents think the EMH, which says that a subject's mental states can extend into the local environment, shows that internalism is false. I argue that this is wrong. The EMH does not refute internalism; in fact, it necessarily does not do so. The popular assumption that the EMH spells trouble for internalists is premised on a bad characterization of the (...) internalist thesis—albeit one that most internalists have adhered to. I show that internalism is entirely compatible with the EMH. This view should prompt us to reconsider the characterization of internalism, and in conclusion I make some brief remarks about how that project might proceed. (shrink)
Can there be 'narrow' mental content, that is entirely determined by the goings-on inside the head of the thinker? This book argues not, and defends instead a thoroughgoing externalism: the entanglement of our minds with the external world runs so deep that no internal component of mentality can easily be cordoned off.
Qualia internalism is the thesis that qualia are intrinsic to their subjects: the experiences of intrinsic duplicates have the same qualia. Content externalism is the thesis that mental representation is an extrinsic matter, partly depending on what happens outside the head. 1 Intentionalism comes in strong and weak forms. In its weakest formulation, it is the thesis that representationally identical experiences of subjects have the same qualia. 2.
Externalism about mental content is now widely accepted. It is therefore surprising that there is no established definition of externalism. I believe that this is a symptom of an unrecognized fact: that the labels 'mental content externalism' -- and its complement 'mental contentinternalism' -- are profoundly ambiguous. Under each of these labels falls a hodgepodge of sometimes conflicting claims about the organism's contribution to thought contents, the nature of the self, relations between the individual and (...) her community, and the epistemic availability of thoughts. This situation stems from the fact that contributors to debates about externalism differ in how they understand 'internal property'; these differences reveal (or, perhaps, generate) disparate conceptions of what is at issue in these debates. I argue that this situation is irremediable. There is no way to understand 'internal property' that will conform with prevailing beliefs about the nature of internalism and externalism, and with the usual taxonomy of leading positions. This ambiguity carries a heavy price: participants in these debates often argue at cross-purposes, disagreeing even on the nature of the evidence that could settle the question of externalism. Progress on the broad range of issues associated with these debates requires that we abandon the categories 'internalism' and 'externalism'. I close by suggesting a promising avenue for future research related to these issues. (shrink)
A celebrated problem for representationalist theories of phenomenal character is that, given externalism about content, these theories lead to externalism about phenomenal character. While externalism about content is widely accepted, externalism about phenomenal character strikes many philosophers as wildly implausible. Even if internally identical individuals could have different thoughts, it is said, if one of them has a headache, or a tingly sensation, so must the other. In this paper, I argue that recent work on phenomenal concepts reveals (...) that, contrary to appearances, this standard conjunction of externalism about content and internalism about phenomenal character is ultimately untenable on other models of phenomenal character as well, including even “qualia realism.” This would be significant for a number of reasons. The first is patent: it would undermine a primary objection to representationalism. The fact that representationalism is incompatible with the conjunction would be no serious problem for representationalism if no other plausible model of phenomenal character is compatible with it. The second is that the many philosophers who embrace the conjunction would be forced to abandon one of the two views; externalism would be true either of both content and phenomenal character, or of neither. Likewise, those philosophers who have taken a stance on only one of the two internalism/externalism debates would have to be seen as thereby committed to a particular stance on the other. The third reason stems from the fact that qualia realism typically goes hand in hand with internalism about phenomenal character. To the extent that it does, my argument would reveal that qualia realism is itself in tension with externalism about content. This would perhaps be the most surprising result of all. (shrink)
In the metaethical debate on moral internalism and externalism, appeal is constantly made to people’s intuitions about the connection between moral judgments and motivation. However, internalists and externalists disagree considerably about their content. In this paper, we present an empirical study of laymen’s intuitions about this connection. We found that they lend surprisingly little support to the most celebrated versions of internalism, which provide reasons to be skeptical of the evidential basis for these views.
Perceptions "present" objects as red, as round, etc.-- in general as possessing some property. This is the "perceptual content" of the title, And the article attempts to answer the following question: what is a materialistically adequate basis for assigning content to what are, after all, neurophysiological states of biological organisms? The thesis is that a state is a perception that presents its object as "F" if the "biological function" of the state is to detect the presence of objects (...) that are "F". The theory contrasts with causal/informational theories, and with internalist theories, for example those which assign content on the basis of introspected feel. Its advantages are that it permits perceptual error while at the same time allowing content to be expressed in terms of external properties. The argument of the paper is illustrated throughout by examples from biology and computational psychology. (shrink)
In recent years, several philosophers have defended the idea of phenomenal intentionality : the intrinsic directedness of certain conscious mental events which is inseparable from these events’ phenomenal character. On this conception, phenomenology is usually conceived as narrow, that is, as supervening on the internal states of subjects, and hence phenomenal intentionality is a form of narrow intentionality. However, defenders of this idea usually maintain that there is another kind of, externalistic intentionality, which depends on factors external to the subject. (...) We may ask whether this concession to content externalism is obligatory. In this paper, I shall argue that it isn’t. I shall suggest that if one is convinced that narrow phenomenal intentionality is legitimate, there is nothing stopping one from claiming that all intentionality is narrow. (shrink)
This version of this paper has been superseded by a substantially revised version in G. Strawson, Real Materialism and Other Essays (OUP 2008) I take 'content' in a natural internalist way to refer to occurrent mental content. I introduce a 'thin' or ‘live’ notion of the subject according to which a subject of experience cannot exist unless there is an experience for it to be the subject of. I then argue, first, that in the case of a particular (...) experience E, its content C, and its (thin) subject S, [C ↔ E ↔ S]; and, second, that the metaphysical fact that underlies this (strong modal) equivalence is in fact identity: [E = S = C]. I suggest that the effort of thought required to grasp this is deeply revealing of the nature of reality. On the way I raise a doubt about the viability of the traditional object/property distinction. -/- . (shrink)
Many philosophers have used premises about concepts and rationality to argue that the protagonists in the various Twin Earth thought experiments do not have the concepts that content externalists say they have. This essay argues that this popular internalist argument is flawed in many different ways, and more importantly it cannot be repaired in order to cast doubt on externalism.
In this paper, I attempt to map out the 'logical geography' of the territory in which issues of mental content and of personal identity meet. In particular, I investigate the possibility of combining a psychological criterion of personal identity with an externalist theory of content. I argue that this can be done, but only by accepting an assumption that has been widely accepted but barely argued for, namely that when someone switches linguistic communities, the contents of their thoughts (...) do not change immediately, but only after the person becomes integrated within the new linguistic community. I also suggest that recent work on personal identity, notably by Derek Parfit, has tacitly assumed internalism regarding mental content. I do not intend to argue for either externalism or a psychological criterion. My aim is merely to explicate the issues involved in making them compatible. (shrink)
Abstract The debate in the philosophy of perception between direct realists and representationalists should influence the debate in epistemology between internalists and externalists about justification. If direct realists are correct, there are more consciously accessible justifiers for internalists to exploit than externalists think. Internalists can retain their distinctive internalist identity while accepting this widened conception of internalistic justification: even if they welcome the possibility of cognitive access to external facts, their position is still quite distinct from the typical externalist position. (...) To demonstrate this, Alvin Goldman’s critique of internalism is shown to ignore important lessons from the case for direct realism about perception. In particular, it unjustifiably assumes that internalism entails that only facts simultaneous with the justification of a belief can justify the belief. Goldman’s definition of a “justifier” is also inconsistent with the overall guidance conception of epistemology he takes for granted in his critique of internalism. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s12136-012-0146-4 Authors Benjamin Bayer, Department of Philosophy, Loyola University, New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 046, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA Journal Acta Analytica Online ISSN 1874-6349 Print ISSN 0353-5150. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Michael Gorman’s objection to Tim Crane’s view of intentional objects. Gorman (“Talking about Intentional Objects,” 2006), following Searle (Intentionality, 1983), argues that intentional content can be cashed out solely in terms of conditions of satisfaction. For Gorman, we have reason to prefer his more minimal satisfaction-condition approach to Crane’s be- cause we cannot understand Crane’s notion of an intentional object when applied to non-existent objects. I argue that Gorman’s criticism rests on a misunderstanding (...) of Crane’s position. I also discuss the importance of keeping track of the distinction between the intentional objects of intentional states and the referents of such states. I do agree with Gorman that conditions of satisfaction are needed to cash out propositional intentional content, but we cannot get these conditions of satisfaction right if we do not capture how the subject takes the world to be. And we cannot properly capture how the subject takes the world to be without commitment to intentional objects. I argue that Crane’s notion of an intentional object is one that avoids questionable ontological commitments. So, in the end we have a view of intentional objects with a respectable metaphysics and ontology that can properly capture the intentional content of subjects’ intentional states. (shrink)
This book contains eleven original papers about intentionality. Some explore current problems such as the status of intentional content, the intentionality of perception and emotion, the connections between intentionality and normativity, the relationship between intentionality and consciousness, the characteristics of the intentional idiom. Others discuss the work of historical figures like Locke, Brentano, Husserl and Frege.
Correspondence: Alva Noë, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley CA 94720-2390, USA. _Email: firstname.lastname@example.org_ Evan Thompson, Philosophy Department, York University, 4700 Keele Street, North York, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada. _Email: email@example.com_.
This thesis has three parts. In the first part, the author defends the coherence of Cartesian scepticism about the external world. In particular, the author contends that such scepticism survives attacks from Descartes himself, as well as from W.V.O. Quine, Robert Nozick, Alvin Goldman, and David Armstrong. It follows that Cartesian scepticism remains intact. In the second part of this thesis, the author contends that the semantic or content externalisms of Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge do not refute Cartesian (...) scepticism about the external world. In particular, he argues that Putnam and Burge do not make good their respective externalist cases against scepticism, and that they beg the question against that position. The author concludes that semantic or content externalism is important against such scepticism. In the third part of this thesis, the author addresses the mind, and suggests that Descartes, by offering his cogito argument, also offers a theory of thought content, which he then supports with his substance dualism. He suggests that Descartes does not succeed with any of his arguments here, although his theory of thought content is still plausible. To remedy this, the author discusses the versions of narrow meaning or content offered by Jerry Fodor and Colin McGinn, and defends a version of such meaning or content that presupposes that semantic or content externalism is false. The author lastly follows Donald Davidson, and argues for a version anomalous monism, which he contends is a theory that shows how semantic or contentinternalism might be true. (shrink)
Intended for philosophically minded psychologists and psychologically minded philosophers, this book identifies the ways that psychology has hobbled itself by adhering too strictly to empiricism, this being the doctrine that all knowledge is observation-based. In the first part of this two-part work, it is shown that empiricism is false. In the second part, the psychology-relevant consequences of this fact are identified. Five of these are of special importance. First, whereas some psychopathologies (e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder) corrupt the activity mediated by one’s (...) psychological architecture, others (e.g. sociopathy) corrupt that architecture itself. Second, the basic tenets of psychoanalysis are coherent. Third, all propositional attitudes are beliefs. Fourth, selves are minds that self-evaluate. Fifth, it is by giving our thoughts a perceptible form that we enable ourselves to evaluate them, and it is by expressing ourselves in language and art that we give our thoughts a perceptible form. (shrink)