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Abstract: The content of the externalist thesis about the mind depends crucially on how we define the distinction between the internal and the external. According to the usual understanding, the boundary between the internal and the external is the skull or the skin of the subject. In this paper I argue that the usual understanding is inadequate, and that only the new understanding of the external/internal distinction I suggest helps us to understand the issue of the compatibility of externalism and privileged access
Abstract: Mental internalists hold that an individuals mental features at a given time supervene upon what is in that individuals head at that time. While many people reject mental internalism about content and justification, mental internalism is commonly accepted regarding such other mental features as rationality, emotion-types, propositional-attitude-types, moral character, and phenomenology. I construct a counter-example to mental internalism regarding all these features. My counter-example involves two creatures: a human and an alien from Pulse World. These creatures environments, behavioral dispositions and histories are such that it is intuitively clear that they are mentally quite different, even while they are, for a moment, exactly alike with respect to whats in their heads. I offer positive reasons for thinking that the case I describe is indeed possible. I then consider ways in which mental internalists might attempt to account for this case, but conclude that the only plausible option is to reject mental internalism and to adopt a particular externalist alternative a history-oriented version of teleo-functionalism
Abstract: I say that it’s philosophically inexpensive because I think it is more convincing than any other Twin-Earth thought experiment in that it sidesteps many of the standard objections to the usual thought experiments. I also briefly discuss narrow contents and give an analysis of Putnam’s original argument
Abstract: Suppose that you had always had a physical twin, Chris, who on a different planet went through life having physical characteristics, sensory experiences, utterances, and brain processes exactly the same as yours in every physical and sensory respect. Chris
Abstract: According to many forms of Externalism now popular in the Philosophy of Mind, the contents of our thoughts depend in part upon our physical or social milieu.1 These forms of Externalism leave unchallenged the thesis that the ~non-factive! attitudes we bear towards these contents are independent of physical or social milieu. This paper challenges that thesis. It is argued here that publicly forwarding a content as a supposition for the sake of argument is, under conditions not themselves guaranteeing the existence of that state, sufficient for occupancy of the intentional state of supposing that content. Because a saying may literally create an intentional state, whether one is in such a state does not depend solely upon how things are within one’s skin. Rather, even leaving content fixed, the attitude borne toward that content depends in part upon what norms are in force in one’s milieu
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
Abstract: Externalism with regard to mental content says that in order to have certain types of intentional mental states (e.g. beliefs), it is necessary to be related to the environment in the right way
Abstract: In “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’” Putnam argues, among other things,
that “‘meanings’ just ain’t in the head”. Putnam’s central arguments in
favor of this conclusion are unsound. The arguments in question are
the famous intra‐world Twin Earth arguments, given on pages 223‐
227 of the article in question.
Abstract: The claim of the multiple realizability of mental states by brain states has been a major feature of the dominant philosophy of mind of the late 20th century. The claim is usually motivated by evidence that mental states are multiply realized, both within humans and between humans and other species. We challenge this contention by focusing on how neuroscientists differentiate brain areas. The fact that they rely centrally on psychological measures in mapping the brain and do so in a comparative fashion undercuts the likelihood that, at least within organic life forms, we are likely to find cases of multiply realized psychological functions
Abstract: Properly understood, content internalism 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.
Abstract: Jaegwon Kim has argued that if psychological kinds are multiply realizable then no single psychological theory can describe regularities ranging over psychological states. Instead, psychology must be fractured, with human psychology covering states realized in the human way, martian psychology covering states realized in the martian way, and so on. I show that even if one accepts the principles that motivate Kim
Abstract: In this paper I try to make as much sense aspossible of, first, the extensive philosophicalliterature concerned with the status of `Wateris H2O' and, second, the implications ofPutnam's invention of Twin Earth, anotherpossible world stipulated to be just like Earth, except that water is XYZ, notH2O
Abstract: This paper discusses whether it can be known a priori that a particular term, such as water, is a natural kind term, and how this problem relates to Putnams claim that natural kind terms require an externalist semantics. Two conceptions of natural kind terms are contrasted: The first holds that whether water is a natural kind term depends on its a priori knowable semantic features. The second