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Abstract: What are the objects of belief? That is, what are the things we believe, when we believe that it is sunny outside and that Nietzsche is dead? Usually these things are taken to be propositions. But the nature of propositions is itself contested. What is a proposition, such that it can serve as an object of belief?
Abstract: [[This paper appears in my anthology _Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings_ (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 608-633. It is a heavily revised version of a paper first written in 1994 and revised in 1995. Sections 1, 7, 8, and 10 are similar to the old version, but the other sections are quite different. Because the old version has been widely cited, I have made it available (in its 1995 version) at http://consc.net/papers/content95.html
Abstract: (1) Is content in the head? I believe that water is wet. My twin on Twin Earth, which is just like Earth except that H2O is replaced by the superficially identical XYZ, does not. His thoughts concern not water but twin water: I believe that water is wet, but he believes that twin water is wet. It follows that that what a subject believes is not wholly determined by the internal state of the believer. Nevertheless, the cognitive similarities between me and my twin are striking. Is there some wholly internal aspect of content that we might share?
Abstract: A content of a subject's mental state is narrow when it is determined by the subject's intrinsic properties: that is, when any possible intrinsic duplicate of the subject has a corresponding mental state with the same content. A content of a subject's mental state is..
Abstract: The argument known as the 'McKinsey Recipe' tries to establish the incompatibility of semantic externalism (about natural kind concepts in particular) and _a priori _self- knowledge about thoughts and concepts by deriving from the conjunction of these theses an absurd conclusion, such as that we could know _a priori _that water exists. One reply to this argument is to distinguish two different readings of 'natural kind concept': (i) a concept which _in fact _denotes a natural kind, and (ii) a concept which _aims_ to denote a natural kind. Paul Boghossian has argued, using a _Dry Earth _scenario, that this response fails, claiming that the externalist cannot make sense of a concept aiming, but failing, to denote a natural kind. In this paper I argue that Boghossian's argument is flawed. Borrowing machinery from two-dimensional semantics, using the notion of 'considering a possible world as actual', I claim that we can give a determinate answer to Boghossian's question: which concept would 'water' express on Dry Earth?