First‐Person Authority and the Internal Reality of Beliefs

Diana Raffman

in Knowing Our Own Minds

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780199241408
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598692 | DOI:
 First‐Person Authority and the Internal Reality of Beliefs

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The paper is a response to Davies, arguing that he misdiagnoses the difficulties with the architecturalist and externalist arguments he targets. Whether or not there are independent grounds for the principles limiting the transfer of epistemic warrant across known entailments, the problem with both types of argument is that they equivocate. It is shown that, in each case, if the premise (1) I have mental property M, expresses something about which the subject is non‐empirically authoritative, it should be viewed as empty of subtantial empirical content; whereas if premise (2) If I have mental property M, then I meet condition C, expresses something knowable a priori, then since its consequent involves substantial empirical content, so must the antecedent. Hence, the modus ponens step is flawed because of equivocation.

Keywords: architecturalism; epistemic warrant; externalism

Chapter.  3080 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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