Developments and Consequences

Bill Brewer

in Perception and Reason

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199250455
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597114 | DOI:
 Developments and Consequences

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Discusses a number of developments and consequences of my position. Firstly, there is the very important issue of the relation between the basic, essentially experiential, perceptual demonstrative contents that I have been considering up to this point, and the more detached, linguistically articulated and categorized judgements that a person more standardly makes on the basis of perception, and that constitute the normal expression of his perceptual knowledge about the world around him. Secondly, I argue that my account entails a version of Russell's Principle of Acquaintance (1917: 159), which I elucidate, on which singular reference is possible only to objects about which the subject is in a position to acquire, or to express, non‐inferential knowledge Thirdly, I exploit this version of the Principle of Acquaintance to provide what seems to me to be a fully satisfying response to an important objection to the possibility of combining a so‐called externalist theory of empirical content, of the kind that I myself favour and draw on in my account of perceptual knowledge, with a plausible account of a person's knowledge of the contents of his own beliefs.

Keywords: externalism; linguistic categorization; Principle of Acquaintance; Russell; self‐knowledge

Chapter.  10631 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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