Abstract/Details

How do I know that I am thinking about water? Externalism, self-knowledge, and the fallacy of incompatibilism


2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

Externalism is a theory of mental content the central thesis of which is that the identities of some mental contents are at least partially determined by relations with the external world; its antithesis is internalism, which holds that all mental contents are completely determined internally.

Prima facie, there is an incompatibility between externalism and the ability of a thinker to know his thoughts, a.k.a. self-knowledge. Externalism predicts that certain thoughts (wide thoughts) are, in part, determined by external relations; the problem is that it does not appear that a thinker can know his own wide thoughts without investigating these external relations, thereby threatening the strongly intuitive idea that thinkers know the contents of their thoughts solely via introspection.

In this paper, this seeming incompatibility, and the objections that employ it, is investigated. Despite its intuitive pull, this incompatibility is false and its falsity is demonstrated via a dilemma.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy
Classification
0422: Philosophy
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology
Title
How do I know that I am thinking about water? Externalism, self-knowledge, and the fallacy of incompatibilism
Author
Kern, Derek J.
Number of pages
66
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0051
Source
MAI 47/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549713852
Advisor
Barnett, David
University/institution
University of Colorado at Boulder
Department
Philosophy
University location
United States -- Colorado
Degree
M.A.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
1456656
ProQuest document ID
304617822
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304617822/abstract
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