Chapter

Content Externalism, Skepticism, and the Recognitional Conception of Self-Knowledge

Dorit Bar-On

in Speaking My Mind

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780199276288
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602894 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199276285.003.0005
Content Externalism, Skepticism, and the Recognitional Conception of Self-Knowledge

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This chapter examines a much-discussed puzzle about how the security of avowals (specifically, the security of avowals that specify one’s mental contents) can be reconciled with so-called ’externalism’ about content. It has been argued that if externalism is true, then we face a form of scepticism about content, analogous to scepticism about the external world. However, the author argues that this reasoning relies on a ’recognitional conception’ of knowledge of content, which ought to be rejected. She further suggests that self-ascriptions of mental content are protected from sceptical arguments precisely because they do not involve or require a separate recognition of those contents.

Keywords: externalism about content; recognition; self-knowledge; scepticism

Chapter.  17734 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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