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2.2j. Content Internalism and Externalism, Misc (Content Internalism and Externalism, Misc on PhilPapers)

See also:
Ball, Derek (2007). Twin-earth externalism and concept possession. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):457-472.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It is widely believed that Twin-Earth-style thought experiments show that the contents of a person's thoughts fail to supervene on her intrinsic properties. Several recent philosophers have made the further claim that Twin-Earth-style thought experiments produce metaphysically necessary conditions for the possession of certain concepts. I argue that the latter view is false, and produce counterexamples to several proposed conditions. My thesis is of particular interest because it undermines some attempts to show that externalism is incompatible with privileged access
Bar-Elli, G. (1994). Intentionality and belief de re: A critical study of Searle's representative internalism. Erkenntnis 41 (1):65-85.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Borg, Emma (2009). Must a semantic minimalist be a semantic internalist? Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):31-51.   (Google)
Abstract: I aim to show that a semantic minimalist need not also be a semantic internalist. §I introduces minimalism and internalism and argues that there is a prima facie case for a minimalist being an internalist. §II sketches some positive arguments for internalism which, if successful, show that a minimalist must be an internalist. §III goes on to reject these arguments and contends that the prima facie case for uniting minimalism and internalism is also not compelling. §IV returns to an objection from §I and argues for a way to meet it which does not depend on giving up semantic externalism
Briscoe, Robert (2006). Individualism, externalism and idiolectical meaning. Synthese 152 (1):95-128.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Semantic externalism in contemporary philosophy of language typically – and often tacitly – combines two supervenience claims about idiolectical meaning (i.e., meaning in the language system of an individual speaker). The first claim is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her intrinsic, physical properties. The second is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her understanding of its use. I here show that a conception of idiolectical meaning is possible that accepts the “anti-internalism” of the first claim while rejecting (what I shall refer to as) the “anti-individualism” of the second. According to this conception, externally constituted idiolectical meaning supervenes on idiolectical understanding.
Brown, Deborah J. (1996). A furry tile about mental representation. Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185):448-66.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Brooks, David (1995). Cartesian inner space. South African Journal of Philosophy 14 (4):135-144.   (Google)
Brown, Jessica (2003). Externalism and the Fregean tradition. In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Brower-Toland, Susan (2007). Intuition, Externalism, and Direct Reference in Ockham. History of Philosophy Quarterly 24:317-336.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I challenge recent externalist interpretations of Ockham’s theory of intuitive cognition. I begin by distinguishing two distinct theses that defenders of the externalist interpretation typically attribute to Ockham: a ‘direct reference thesis’, according to which intuitive cognitions are states that lack all internal, descriptive content; and a ‘causal thesis’, according to which intuitive states are wholly determined by causal connections they bear to singular objects. I then argue that neither can be plausibly credited to Ockham. In particular, I claim that the causal thesis doesn’t square with Ockham’s account of supernaturally produced intuition and that the direct reference thesis sits uneasily with Ockham’s characterization of the intentional structure of intuitive states.
Brook, D. (1992). Substantial mind. South African Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):15-21.   (Google)
Brown, Deborah J. (1993). Swampman of la mancha. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):327-48.   (Annotation | Google)
Buekens, Filip (1994). Externalism, content, and causal histories. Dialectica 48 (3-4):267-86.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Campbell, John (1987). Is sense transparent? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 88:273-292.   (Cited by 15 | Google)
Carpenter, Andrew (1998). Davidson's externalism and the unintelligibility of massive error. Disputatio 4.   (Google)
Collins, John (2009). Methodology, not metaphysics: Against semantic externalism. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):53-69.   (Google)
Abstract: Borg (2009) surveys and rejects a number of arguments in favour of semantic internalism. This paper, in turn, surveys and rejects all of Borg's anti-internalist arguments. My chief moral is that, properly conceived, semantic internalism is a methodological doctrine that takes its lead from current practice in linguistics. The unifying theme of internalist arguments, therefore, is that linguistics neither targets nor presupposes externalia. To the extent that this claim is correct, we should be internalists about linguistic phenomena, including semantics
Davidson, Donald (2003). Quine's externalism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 66 (1):281-297.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: In this paper, I credit Quine with having implicitly held a view I had long urged on him: externalism. Quine was the first fully to recognize that all there is to meaning is what we learn or absorb from observed usage. This entails the possibility of indeterminacy, thus destroying the myth of meanings. It also entails a powerful form of externalism. There is, of course, a counter-current in Quine's work of the mid century: the idea of stimulus meaning. Attractive as this choice of empirical base is compared to such options as sense data, appearances, and percepts, it has serious difficulties. In general, an externalism which ties the contents of observation sentences and perceptual beliefs directly to the sorts of situations that usually make them true is superior to those forms of empiricism which introduce intermediaries between word and object
de Vries, Willem A. (1996). Experience and the swamp creature. Philosophical Studies 82 (1):55-80.   (Annotation | Google)
Drai, Dalia (2003). Externalism and identity. Synthese 134 (3):463-475.   (Google | More links)
Edwards, S. (1994). Externalism in the Philosophy of Mind. Avebury.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Engel, Pascal (1987). Functionalism, belief, and content. In S. Torrance (ed.), The Mind and the Machine. Horwood.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Frances, Bryan (2007). Externalism, physicalism, statues, and hunks. Philosophical Studies 133 (2):199-232.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: Content externalism is the dominant view in the philosophy of mind. Content essentialism, the thesis that thought tokens have their contents essentially, is also popular. And many externalists are supporters of such essentialism. However, endorsing the conjunction of those views either (i) commits one to a counterintuitive view of the underlying physical nature of thought tokens or (ii) commits one to a slightly different but still counterintuitive view of the relation of thought tokens to physical tokens as well as a rejection of realist physicalism. In this essay I reveal the problem and articulate and adjudicate among the possible solutions. I will end up rejecting content essentialism
Gauker, Christopher (1991). Mental content and the division of epistemic labour. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (September):302-18.   (Google | More links)
Gerken, Mikkel (2007). A false dilemma for anti-individualism. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):329-42.   (Google)
Gertler, Brie (2007). Content externalism and the epistemic conception of the self. Philosophical Issues 17 (1):37–56.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Our fundamental conception of the self seems to be, broadly speaking, epistemic: selves are things that have thoughts, undergo experiences, and possess reasons for action and belief. In this paper, I evaluate the consequences of this epistemic conception for the widespread view that properties like thinking that arthritis is painful are relational features of the self
Gertler, Brie (2009). Review of Katalin Farkas, The Subject's Point of View. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):743-47.   (Google)
Abstract: A few decades ago, in the wake of influential arguments by Putnam and Burge, prevailing opinion among philosophers shifted from internalism to externalism about thought contents. While there was always a vocal minority opposed to externalism, internalist opposition has grown markedly in the past several years. This book represents a major advance in the internalist campaign. Farkas’ ambitious agenda is to advance a strongly internalist account of the mental. She makes impressive strides towards achieving this goal. Along the way, she presents important new arguments on a number of topics, including: how best to understand the ‘twin’ cases used in debates about content, the alleged incompatibility of content externalism and privileged access, and the prospects for defending Frege’s claim that sense determines reference
Gerken, Mikkel (2008). Is internalism about knowledge consistent with content externalism? Philosophia 36 (1):87-96.   (Google)
Abstract: 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
Gibbons, John (1993). Identity without supervenience. Philosophical Studies 70 (1):59-79.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Gregg, John (online). Language and meaning.   (Google)
Hacker, P. M. S. (1998). Davidson on intentionality and externalism. Philosophy 73 (286):539-552.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Davidson has attempted to integrate externalism into his account of meaning and understanding. He contends that what words mean is fixed in part by the circumstances in which they were learnt, in which the basic connection between words and things is established. This connection is allegedly established by causal interaction between people and the world. Words and sentences derive their meanings from the objects and circumstances in which they were learnt, which
Haukioja, Jussi (2009). Intuitions, Externalism, and Conceptual Analysis. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2:81-93.   (Google)
Abstract: Semantic externalism about a class of expressions is often thought to make conceptual analysis about members of that class impossible. In particular, since externalism about natural kind terms makes the essences of natural kinds empirically discoverable, it seems that mere reflection on one's natural kind concept will not be able to tell one anything substantial about what it is for something to fall under one's natural kind concepts. Many hold the further view that one cannot even know anything substantial about the reference-fixers of one's natural kind concepts by armchair reflection. In this paper I want to question this latter view and claim that, because of the way our standard methodology of doing theories of reference relies on semantic intuitions, typical externalists in fact presuppose that one can know the reference-fixers of one's natural kind concepts by mere armchair reflection. The more interesting question is how substantial such knowledge can be. I also take some steps toward answering this question.
H, (2007). Externalism and a posteriori semantics. Erkenntnis 67 (3).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It is widely held that the meaning of certain types of terms, such as natural kind terms, is individuated externalistically, in terms of the individual
Hickey, Lance P. (1999). The chomskian challenge to externalism. International Studies in Philosophy 31 (4):39-51.   (Google)
Houghton, David (1997). Mental content and external representations: Internalism, anti-internalism. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):159-77.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Hurley, Susan L. (forthcoming). Varieties of externalism. In R. Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. Ashgate.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: Externalism comes in varieties. While the landscape isn
Jackson, Frank & Pettit, Philip (1988). Functionalism and broad content. Mind 97 (July):318-400.   (Cited by 79 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Jackman, Henry (2005). Intuitions and semantic theory. Metaphilosophy 36 (3):363-380.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: While engaged in the analysis of topics such as the nature of knowledge, meaning, or justice, analytic philosophers have traditionally relied extensively on their own intuitions about when the relevant terms can, and can't, be correctly applied. Consequently, if intuitions about possible cases turned out not to be a reliable tool for the proper analysis of philosophically central concepts, then a radical reworking of philosophy's (or at least analytic philosophy's) methodology would seem to be in order. It is thus not surprising that the increasingly critical scrutiny that intuitions have received of late has produced what has been referred to as a "crisis" in analytic philosophy. This paper will argue, however, that at least those criticisms that stem from recent work on semantic externalism are not as serious as their proponents have claimed. Indeed, this paper will argue while the conceptual intuitions (and the analyses that result from them) will have to be recognized as fallible, they still have a prima facie claim to correctness. A naturalistic and externalistic account of concepts thus merely requires that the methodology of conceptual analysis be reinterpreted (from a 'Platonic' to a 'constructive' model) rather than given up
Jackson, Frank (2004). On an argument from properties of words to broad content. In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge. De Gruyter.   (Google)
Katz, J. M. (1990). The Domino theory. Philosophical Studies 58 (1-2):3-39.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Korman, Daniel Z. (2006). What externalists should say about dry earth. Journal of Philosophy 103 (10):503-520.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Dry earth seems to its inhabitants (our intrinsic duplicates) just as earth seems to us, that is, it seems to them as though there are rivers and lakes and a clear, odorless liquid flowing from their faucets. But, in fact, this is an illusion; there is no such liquid anywhere on the planet. I address two objections to externalism concerning the nature of the concept that is expressed by the word 'water' in the mouths of the inhabitants of dry earth. Gabriel Segal presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the application conditions of the concept, and Paul Boghossian presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the complexity of the concept. I show that, in both cases, the externalist may occupy the horn of his choice without departing from either the letter or spirit of externalism
Korman, Daniel Z. (2006). What Externalists Should Say About Dry Earth. The Journal of Philosophy 103 (10):503-520.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Dry earth seems to its inhabitants (our intrinsic duplicates) just as earth seems to us, that is, it seems to them as though there are rivers and lakes and a clear, odorless liquid flowing from their faucets. But, in fact, this is an illusion; there is no such liquid anywhere on the planet. I address two objections to externalism concerning the nature of the concept that is expressed by the word ‘water’ in the mouths of the inhabitants of dry earth. Gabriel Segal presents a dilemma for the externalist concering the application conditions of the concept, and Paul Boghossian presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the complexity of the concept. I show that, in both cases, the externalist may occupy the horn of his choice without departing from either the letter or spirit of externalism.
Larkin, William S. (online). Content and metacognition.   (Google)
Abstract: C. Theses: 1. Content Externalism strictly implies the possibility of acquiring a new concept as the result of an unwitting switch of environments. 2. This intuitively compels us to accept the possibility of someone possessing a concept without being aware that she does. 3. This possibility strictly favors causal models of meta-cognition over constitution models. 4. The possibility of possessing a concept unawares suggests that the contents of metacognitive
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Madison, B. J. C. (2009). On the Compatibility of Epistemic Internalism and Content Externalism. Acta Analytica 24 (3):173-183.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: 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.
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Abstract: The being of the _cogitatio,_ or to be more exact, of the knowledge-phenomenon itself, cannot
be questioned, and it is free from the riddle of transcendence. /.../ It is also obvious, that the
_cogitationes_ represent a sphere of absolute immanent givens, in which sense we also interpret
immanence. In the seeing [Schauen] of the pure phenomenon, the object is not outside the
knowledge, outside consciousness, and at the same time it is given in the sense of the absolute
self-givenness of a purely seen object."
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Abstract: Since Descartes, the mind has been thought to be "in the head," separable from the world and even from the body it inhabits. In The Mind and its World , Gregory McCulloch considers the latest debates in philosophy and cognitive science about whether the thinking subject actually requires an environment in order to be able to think. McCulloch explores the mind/body duality from the Enlightenment to the 20th century. He examines such figures as Descartes, Frege, Locke, and Wittgenstein. His method is comparative, and his insights are illuminating. By pitting Descartes against such thinkers as Wittgenstein and Frege, McCulloch produces a dynamic account of the implications of the Descartian argument about consciousness and the mind. The contrast evolves into McCulloch's original theory of externalism, the notion that the mind is not in the head, and is constituted by environmental, and linguistic object relations. The Mind and its World is a clearand compelling reading of the one of the dominant elements and debates within Western philosophy. Its synthesis of the arguments and controversies will make this book necessary reading for the general reader who is interested in the claims the Enlightenment and its aftermath have made about consciousness, our "minds", and even our brains._
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Abstract: Current attempts to understand psychological content divide into two families of views. According to externalist accounts such as those advanced by Tyler Burge and Ruth Millikan, psychological content does not supervene on the physical features of the individual subject, but is fixed partially by the nature of the world external to her.1 In the rival functional role theories developed by Ned Block and Brian Loar, content does supervene on the physical features of the individual, and is, in addition, determined solely by the role it plays in the causal network of an individual's sensations, behavior, and mental states.2 Over the past fifteen years, criticism of these two types of views has often focussed on their capacity to individuate content in an acceptable way, and both seem to be deficient in this respect
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Abstract: In this paper, I explore the consequences of the thesis that externalism and internalism are (possibly, but as we will see not necessarily, opposite) metaphysical doctrines on the individuation conditions of a thought. If I am right, this thesis primarily entails that at least some naturalist positions on the ontology of the mind, namely the reductionistic ones, are hardly compatible with both externalism and a version of internalism so conceived, namely relational internalism. Indeed, according to both externalism and relational internalism, intentionality constitutes (or at least grounds) the relational content property providing the individuation conditions of a thought, as a relation to an outer or to an inner object respectively. Yet since intentionality turns out to be a modal, hence a nonnatural, property, both externalism and relational internalism deny to thoughts at least token-identity with physical states. Finally, I will give some support to the idea that externalism and internalism must be interpreted as doctrines on the individuation conditions of a thought
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Abstract: Timothy Williamson has presented several arguments that seek to cast doubt on the idea that cognition can be factorized into internal and external components. In the first section of this paper, I attempt to evaluate these arguments. My conclusion will be that these arguments establish several highly important points, but in the end these arguments fail to cast any doubt either on the idea that cognitive science should be largely concerned with internal mental processes, or on the idea that cognition can be analysed in terms of the existence of a suitable connection between internal and external components. I shall present an argument for the conclusion that cognition involves certain causal processes that are entirely internal
Wikforss, Asa Maria (2006). Content Externalism and Fregean Sense. In P. Marvan (ed.), What Determines Content? The Internalism/Externalism Dispute. Cambridge Scholars Press.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Can externalist concepts really capture an individual
Wikforss, Asa Maria & Haggqvist, Soren (web). Externalism and a posteriori semantics. Erkenntnis.   (Google)
Abstract: We have become accustomed to the idea that meaning is determined externalistically, that the meaning of certain types of terms, for example natural kind terms, depends on facts about the external environment.1 Recently, however, a more radical thesis has emerged, a thesis we shall dub
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Abstract: Where does the mind begin and end? Robert Wilson establishes the foundations for the view that the mind extends beyond the boundary of the individual. He blends traditional philosophical analysis, cognitive science, and the history of psychology and the human sciences. Wilson then develops novel accounts of mental representation and consciousness, discussing a range of other issues, such as nativism and the idea of group minds. Boundaries of the Mind re-evaluates the place of the individual in the cognitive, biological and social sciences (what Wilson calls the fragile sciences) with an emphasis on cognition. The book will appeal to a broad range of professionals and students in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and the history of the behavioral and human sciences. Robert A. Wilson is professor of philosophy at the University of Alberta. He is author or editor of five other books, including the award-winning The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MIT Press, 1999)
Williamson, Timothy (2006). Can cognition be factorized into internal and external components? In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.   (Google)
Abstract: 0. Platitudinously, cognitive science is the science of cognition. Cognition is usually defined as something like the process of acquiring, retaining and applying knowledge. To a first approximation, therefore, cognitive science is the science of knowing. Knowing is a relation between the knower and the known. Typically, although not always, what is known involves the environment external to the knower. Thus knowing typically involves a relation between the agent and the external environment. It is not internal to the agent, for the internal may be the same whether or not it is related to the external in a way that constitutes knowing. Cognition enables agents to achieve their goals by adjusting their actions appropriately to the environment. Such adjustment requires what is internal to the agent to be in some sense in line with what is external; that matching depends on both internal and external sides. Thus if cognitive science were restricted to what is internal to the agent, it would lose sight of its primary object of study. Although cognition depends on both the internal and the external, one can try to analyse it into internal and external factors. Call a state S narrow if and only if whether an agent is in S at a time t depends only on the total internal qualitative state of S at t, so that if one agent in one possible situation is internally an exact duplicate of another agent..
Williams, Michael (1990). Externalism and the philosophy of mind. Philosophical Quarterly 40:352-80.   (Google | More links)
Wilson, Robert A. (2002). Individualism. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Williamson, Timothy (2004). Sosa on abilities, concepts, and externalism. In John Greco (ed.), Ernest Sosa and His Critics. Blackwell Publishing.   (Google)
Abstract: A kind of intellectual project characteristic of Ernest Sosa is to resolve an apparently flat-out dispute by showing that it is not after all a zero-sum game. His irenic goal is to do justice to both sides and give each of them most of what it wants. In his subtle paper ‘Abilities, Concepts, and Externalism’ he applies this strategy to the dispute between internalism and externalism in the philosophy of mind. It is a pleasure to engage in discussion with a philosopher of Sosa’s fair-mindedness and analytical skills
Woodfield, Andrew (1986). Two categories of content. Mind and Language 1:319-54.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)