TITLE

What we talk about when we talk about content externalism

AUTHOR(S)
Engelhardt, Jeff
PUB. DATE
January 2016
SOURCE
Synthese;Jan2016, Vol. 193 Issue 1, p125
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
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 content internalism. 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 (a) should regard it as unclear at present which proposition her theory expresses, and (b) 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.
ACCESSION #
112691628

 

Related Articles

  • Does Externalism Entail the Anomalism of the Mental? Shea, Nicholas // Philosophical Quarterly;Apr2003, Vol. 53 Issue 211, p201 

    In ‘Mental Events’ Donald Davidson argued for the anomalism of the mental on the basis of the operation of incompatible constitutive principles in the mental and physical domains. Many years later, he has suggested that externalism provides further support for the anomalism of the...

  • A Defense of Motivational Externalism. Shafer-Landau, Russ // Philosophical Studies;Feb2000, Vol. 97 Issue 3, p267 

    This article focuses on motivational externalism. Many moral theses nowadays go under heading of internalism, so it is important to distinguish them from one another. Though one must be able to account for the widepread pull that moral judgments exert on agents, externalism can do this better...

  • When is it Selectively Advantageous to Have True Beliefs? Sandwiching the Better Safe than Sorry Argument. Stephens, Christopher L. // Philosophical Studies;Aug2001, Vol. 105 Issue 2, p161 

    Several philosophers have argued that natural selection will favor reliable belief formation; others have been more skeptical. These traditional approaches to the evolution of rationality have been either too sketchy or else have assumed that phenotypic plasticity can be equated with having a...

  • In Search of the Holy Grail of Epistemology. ZIĘBA, PAWEŁ J. // Kriterion;2014, Issue 28, p55 

    Pritchard calls his epistemological disjunctivism 'the holy grail of epistemology'. What this metaphor means is that the acceptance of this thesis puts the internalism-externalism debate to an end, thanks to satisfaction of intuitions standing behind both competing views. Simultaneously,...

  • Internalism in the Epistemology of Testimony Redux. Madison, B. // Erkenntnis;Aug2016, Vol. 81 Issue 4, p741 

    In general, epistemic internalists hold that an individual's justification for a belief is exhausted by her reflectively accessible reasons for thinking that the contents of her beliefs are true. Applying this to the epistemology of testimony, a hearer's justification for beliefs acquired...

  • DAS PROBLEM DER REALIT�T DER AUSSENWELT, DIE SITTLICHE FORDERUNG UND DER GLAUBE AN GOTT NACH IMMANUEL KANTS KRITIK DER REINEN VERNUNFT. ZU SEINEM 200. TODESTAG AM 12. FEBRUAR 2004. Kaiser, Otto // TRAMES: A Journal of the Humanities & Social Sciences;2004, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p259 

    "The problem of the reality of the external world, moral demand and belief in God according to Immanuel Kant's critique of pure reason. For 200th anniversary of his death on 12 February 2004." The article consists of seven parts: the task of philosophy; Kant's preliminary work for the great...

  • A Metaphysics for Semantic Internalism. Tappenden, Paul // Metaphysica;Oct2011, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p125 

    The contemporary popularity of semantic externalism has arisen from so-called Twin Earth thought experiments which suggest that the representational content of a natural kind term cannot be wholly determined by processes within a speaker's body. Such arguments depend on the intuition that the...

  • Externalising success: A performance-limiting attribution. Morris, Mary; Tiggemann, Marika // Psychological Reports;Apr98, Vol. 82 Issue 2, p570 

    Studies externalising success, in several undergraduate students, as a factor of performance-limiting behavior. Amount of students who attributed success in a mid-year examination to external factors; Performance of these same students on the end-of-term examination; Completion of an...

  • Reason and motivation: the wrong distinction? Hurley, S. L. // Analysis;Apr2001, Vol. 61 Issue 2, p151 

    Discusses the distinction between the internalism and externalism of reason. Issues about entailment relations; Metaphysical, explanatory or constitutive dependence; Rationality of desires and acts.

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of NEW JERSEY STATE LIBRARY

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics