Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Boghossian, Paul - What the Externalist Can Know a Priori

Boghossian, Paul - What the Externalist Can Know a Priori

Ratings: (0)|Views: 14 |Likes:
Published by Cleoatwar
Boghossian on Externalism.
Boghossian on Externalism.

More info:

Published by: Cleoatwar on Apr 07, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/06/2013

pdf

text

original

 
What the Externalist Can Know "A Priori"
Paul A. Boghossian
Philosophical Issues
, Vol. 9, Concepts. (1998), pp. 197-211.
Philosophical Issues
is currently published by Ridgeview Publishing Company.Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtainedprior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content inthe JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/journals/rpc.html.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to and preserving a digital archive of scholarly journals. Formore information regarding JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.http://www.jstor.orgSat Mar 10 03:17:44 2007
 
18
PHILOSOPHICAL
ISSUES,
9Concepts,
1998
What
the
Externalist
Can
Know
A
Priori*
Paul A.
Boghossian
Even after much discussion,
it
continues
to
be
controversial whether
an
externalism
about
mental content is compatible with a
traditional
doctrine of privileged self-knowledge. By
an
externalism
about
men
tal
content, I mean
the
view
that
what
concepts our thoughts involvemay depend not only
on
facts
that
are internal
to
us,
but
on
facts
about
our
environment.
It
is worth emphasizing, if only because
it
is still occasionally misperceived,
that
this thesis is supposed
to
apply
at
the
level
of
sense
and
not merely
at
that
of reference:
what
concepts
we
think
in terms of
-and
not
just
what theyhappen
to
pick
out-
is said by
the
externalist
to
depend
upon
environmental
*First
appeared
in
Proceedings
of
the Aristotelian Society,
pp. 161-175.Earlier versions
of
the
argument
of
this paper
were presented
to
myseminaron
"Self-Knowledge"
at
Princeton
in
the
Spring
of
1991,
to
my seminar on
"MentalContent"
at the
University of Michigan
in
the
Spring of 1992,
and
to
the
plenarysession of
the
Conference
on
Self-Knowledge
at
the
University of St. Andrews
in
August
of
1995. I
am
grateful
to
those audiences for helpful comments
and
reactions. I
am
especially grateful
to
Anthony
Brueckner
and Stephen
Schifferfor detailed
comments on
a previous
draft
and
to
John
Gibbons
and
Christopher
Peacocke for numerous helpful conversations
on
the
general topic.
 
198
PAUL
A.
BOGHOSSIAN
facts. By a
traditional
doctrine
of
privileged self-knowledge, I mean
the
view
that
we
are able
to
know, without
the
benefit of empiricalinvestigation,
what
our thoughts are
in
our own case. Suppose I en
tertain
a thought
that
I would express with
the
sentence 'Water iswet'. According
to
the
traditional doctrine, I can know without empirical investigation (a)
that
I
am
entertaining a thought; (b)
that
it
has a
particular
conceptual content,
and
(c)
that
its content is
that
water is wet.Let us call someone who combines
an
externalist view of mentalcontent
with
a doctrine of privileged self-knowledge a
compatibilist.
In
this
paper, I will present a
reductio
of compatibilism; in particular, I propose
to
argue
that,
if compatibilism were true,
we
would
be
in a position
to
know certain facts
about the
world
a priori,
facts
that
no one can reasonably believe are knowable
a priori.
Whether
this should
be
taken
to
cast
doubt on
externalism or
on
privilegedself-knowledge is not
an
issue I will
attempt to
settle in this paper. Anti-compatibilist arguments with this general form have been
attempted
in
the
past,
but
I believe
that
those earlier efforts havemisstated
the
case
that
needs
to be
made.
1
Before
we
get into
the
details, however, it will
be
useful
to
outline certain semantical preliminaries.
1 Semantical Preliminaries
In the
case of a general
term
-for
instance
'water'-
I recognizea three-fold distinction between its extension, its referent,
and
itsmeaning. A
term's
extension is
just
the
set
of
actual things
to
which
it
correctly applies.
In the
case of 'water,' it is all
the
bitsof
waterexisting anywhere in
the
universe. Since
we
know
that
those
bitsof
water are
just
aggregates of
H20
molecules,
we
may also say
that
the
extension
of
'water' consists in
the
set of all aggregates
of
H20
molecules
that
exist anywhere (including those aggregates
that
we
may never encounter).
1
See, for example, Michael McKinsey, "Anti-Individualism
and
Privileged Access",
Analysis
51
(1991), pp. 9-16,
and the
effective response by
Anthony
Brueckner,
"Whatan
anti-individualist
Knows A priori",
Analysis
52
(1992).
This
style
of
anti-compatibilist
argument
is
to
be
distinguished from
the
'traveling case'
ar
guments
discussed in
my
"Content
and
Self-Knowledge",
Philosophical Topics
17 (1989), pp. 5-26.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->