Mind and Knowledge

John Heil

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195301700
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Mind and Knowledge

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This article notes that the knowledge of the world depends on the nature as knowers. Many people, philosophers included, assume realism about the world toward which one's beliefs are directed: that is, that the world is as it is independently of how one might take it to be. It is unclear how one could convincingly establish, in a noncircular manner, that the world is as one thinks it is. This suggests skepticism, and, according to this article, realism and skepticism go hand in hand. This article discusses the implications of such a view, particularly as they concern knowledge people seemingly have of their own states of mind. It considers the view that to calibrate oneself as knower one should proceed from resources “immediately available to the mind” to conclusions about the external world. It examines two other possibilities: an externalist view of mental content and an internalist approach to content.

Keywords: knowledge; philosophers; skepticism; realism; mind

Article.  9834 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology ; Philosophy of Mind

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