Transcendental Arguments from Content Externalism

Anthony Brueckner

in Essays on Skepticism

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585861
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595332 | DOI:
Transcendental Arguments from Content Externalism

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This chapter examines the viability of using Tyler Burge's anti-individualism as the basis for an anti-sceptical strategy. Anti-individualism seems to hold that if an intentional mental state has a specific determinate content, then this requires that certain physical conditions in one's environment obtain. Which? That is a question that is difficult to explore. Various answers are discussed and rejected. For example, the anti-individualist isn't committed to holding that in order for one to think that water is dripping, water must exist at some time in one's causal environment. But could the anti-individualist argue that in order to think that thought, there must at least be a physical world, to ‘nail down’ its determinate content? A ‘No’ answer is argued in this chapter.

Keywords: Tyler Burge; Davidson; Putnam; Searle; anti-individualism; content

Chapter.  10220 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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