Article

Semantic Externalism

Sandy Goldberg

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0113
Semantic Externalism

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Semantic externalism is the view that (some) semantic properties of a subject’s words and/or thoughts depend for their individuation on features of the subject’s “external” environment. The external environment has traditionally been taken to be any part of the environment beyond the physical boundaries of the subject’s skin. (See Farkas 2008 for a criticism of this and other construals of “external.”) Externalism’s core claim is often characterized in terms of the possibility of two individuals, duplicates from the skin-in, who nevertheless differ in the meanings of their words or the contents of their thoughts, owing to differences in their respective environments. Originally deriving from the “new” theories of reference developed in the 1970s in the work of such figures as Chastain, Donnellan, Kripke, Putnam, and Stampe, externalist theses were soon developed about the contents of thought and other mental states as well.

Article.  5717 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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