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  1. Talk and Thought.Sarah Sawyer - forthcoming - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This paper provides an externalist account of talk and thought that clearly distinguishes the two. It is argued that linguistic meanings and concepts track different phenomena and have different explanatory roles. The distinction, understood along the lines proposed, brings theoretical gains in a cluster of related areas. It provides an account of meaning change which accommodates the phenomenon of contested meanings and the possibility of substantive disagreement across theoretical divides, and it explains the nature and value of conceptual engineering in (...)
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  2. Concepts, Conceptions and Self-Knowledge.Sarah Sawyer - 2019 - Erkenntnis (y).
    Content externalism implies first, that there is a distinction between concepts and conceptions, and second, that there is a distinction between thoughts and states of mind. In this paper, I argue for a novel theory of self-knowledge: the partial-representation theory of self-knowledge, according to which the self-ascription of a thought is authoritative when it is based on a con-scious, occurrent thought in virtue of which it partially represents an underlying state of mind.
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  3. The Nature of Content: A Critique of Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne.Sarah Sawyer - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This is a contribution to the symposium on Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne's book, Narrow Content. I argue that the unified treatment of thought content advocated by Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne fails to capture the distinctively mental aspects of indexical thought and that the kinds of indexical examples to which Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne appeal can tell us nothing very interesting about mental states as such.
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  4. Narrow Content, by Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne. [REVIEW]Sarah Sawyer - forthcoming - Mind:fzy068.
    This is an extended review of Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne's book: Narrow Content (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)..
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  5. Our Knowledge of the Internal World. [REVIEW]Clas Weber - 2008 - Disputatio 3 (25):59-65.
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  6. Causation and Mental Content: Against the Externalist Interpretation of Ockham.Susan Brower-Toland - 2017 - In Magali Elise Roques & Jenny Pelletier (eds.), The Language of Thought in Late Medieval Philosophy. Essays in Honour of Claude Panaccio.
    On the dominant interpretation, Ockham is an externalist about mental content. This reading is founded principally on his theory of intuitive cognition. Intuitive cognition plays a foundational role in Ockham’s account of concept formation and judgment, and Ockham insists that the content of intuitive states is determined by the causal relations such states bear to their objects. The aim of this paper is to challenge the externalist interpretation by situating Ockham’s account of intuitive cognition vis-à-vis his broader account of efficient (...)
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  7. Is There a Deductive Argument for Semantic Externalism? Reply to Yli-Vakkuri.Sarah Sawyer - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):675-681.
    Juhani Yli-Vakkuri has argued that the Twin Earth thought experiments offered in favour of semantic externalism can be replaced by a straightforward deductive argument from premisses widely accepted by both internalists and externalists alike. The deductive argument depends, however, on premisses that, on standard formulations of internalism, cannot be satisfied by a single belief simultaneously. It does not therefore, constitute a proof of externalism. The aim of this article is to explain why.
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  8. The Importance of Concepts.Sarah Sawyer - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (2):127-147.
    Words change meaning over time. Some meaning shift is accompanied by a corresponding change in subject matter; some meaning shift is not. In this paper I argue that an account of linguistic meaning can accommodate the first kind of case, but that a theory of concepts is required to accommodate the second. Where there is stability of subject matter through linguistic change, it is concepts that provide the stability. The stability provided by concepts allows for genuine disagreement and ameliorative change (...)
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  9. Adaptationism, Deflationism, and Anti-Individualism.Tomas Hribek - 2011 - In Tomas Hribek & Juraj Hvorecky (eds.), Knowledge, Value, Evolution. Londýn, Velká Británie: pp. 167-187.
    An examination of the externalist theories of Tyler Burge, Daniel Dennett and Ruth Millikan.
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  10. Object-Dependent Thoughts.Sean Crawford - 2005 - In Keith Brown (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed. Elsevier.
    The theory of object-dependent singular thought is outlined and the central motivation for it, turning on the connection between thought content and truth conditions, is discussed. Some of its consequences for the epistemology of thought are noted and connections are drawn to the general doctrine of externalism about thought content. Some of the main criticisms of the object-dependent view of singular thought are outlined. Rival conceptions of singular thought are also sketched and their problems noted.
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  11. Subjective Externalism.Sarah Sawyer - 2018 - Theoria 84 (1):4-22.
    In this article I argue for a novel theory of representational content, which I call ‘subjective externalism’. The view combines an internal, subjective constraint on the attribution of thought content which traditionally underpins internalist theories of thought, and an external, objective constraint on the attribution of thought content which traditionally underpins externalist theories of thought. While internalism and externalism are mutually inconsistent, the constraints to which each theory is committed are not. It is this realization that opens up the conceptual (...)
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  12. Extended Knowledge and Causal Dependence.Esteban Céspedes - 2011 - Iris 3 (6):55-67.
    One of the principal presuppositions in the extended mind account of Clark and Chalmers establishes that extended and non-extended cognitive systems have somehow the same structure and that the distinctions between them can only be superficial. In contrast, this work presents some arguments for the idea that it is possible to find fundamental differences between both, mainly on the basis that a criterion that does not include the notion of knowledge is not strong enough to define cognitive processes. A brief (...)
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  13. Externalism and Knowledge of Content.John Gibbons - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (3):287.
    If the contents of our thoughts are partly determined by facts outside our heads, can we still know those contents directly, without investigating our environment? What if we were surreptitiously switched to Twin-Earth? Would we know the contents of our thoughts under these unusual circumstances? By looking carefully at what determines the content of a second-order thought, a candidate for self-knowledge, the paper argues that we can know the contents of our thoughts directly, even after being switched. Learning about the (...)
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  14. Cruel Intensions: An Essay on Intentional Identity and Intentional Attitudes.Alexander Sandgren - 2016 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    Some intentional attitudes (beliefs, fears, desires, etc.) have a common focus in spite of there being no object at that focus. For example, two beliefs may be about the same witch even when there are no witches, different astronomers had beliefs directed at Vulcan, even though there is no such planet. This relation of having a common focus, whether or not there is an actual concrete object at that focus, is called intentional identity. In the first part of this thesis (...)
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  15. Triangular Externalism.Sven Bernecker - 2013 - In Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Donald Davidson. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 443-455.
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  16. Extended Minds in Vats.Sven Bernecker - 2016 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Brain in a Vat. Cambridge University Press. pp. 54-72.
    Hilary Putnam has famously argued that “we are brains in a vat” is necessarily false. The argument assumes content externalism (also known as semantic externalism and anti-individualism), that is, the view that the individuation conditions of mental content depend, in part, on external or relational properties of the subject’s environment. Recently content externalism has given rise to the hypothesis of the extended mind, whereby mental states are not only externally individuated but also externally located states. This chapter argues that when (...)
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  17. Machine Intentionality, the Moral Status of Machines, and the Composition Problem.David Leech Anderson - 2012 - In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Philosophy & Theory of Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 312-333.
    According to the most popular theories of intentionality, a family of theories we will refer to as “functional intentionality,” a machine can have genuine intentional states so long as it has functionally characterizable mental states that are causally hooked up to the world in the right way. This paper considers a detailed description of a robot that seems to meet the conditions of functional intentionality, but which falls victim to what I call “the composition problem.” One obvious way to escape (...)
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  18. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action and Cognitive Extension - Andy Clark. [REVIEW]Mirko Farina - 2010 - Humana Mente 4 (14).
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  19. Extended Belief and Extended Knowledge.Åsa Wikforss - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):460-481.
    The paper discusses the thesis of extended belief and its implications for the possibility of extending ordinary, personal level knowledge. A common worry is that knowledge will overextend, that there will be ‘cognitive bloat’. If the subject’s standing beliefs can be realized in devices such as notebooks and smart phones, what is there to prevent the conclusion that she knows everything stored on such devices? One response to this worry is to block the move from belief to knowledge, and argue (...)
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  20. The ‘Extendedness’ of Scientific Evidence.Eric Kerr & Axel Gelfert - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):253-281.
    In recent years, the idea has been gaining ground that our traditional conceptions of knowledge and cognition are unduly limiting, in that they privilege what goes on inside the ‘skin and skull’ of an individual reasoner. Instead, it has been argued, knowledge and cognition need to be understood as embodied, situated, and extended. Whether these various interrelations and dependencies are ‘merely’ causal, or are in a more fundamental sense constitutive of knowledge and cognition, is as much a matter of controversy (...)
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  21. The Extended Mind in Ontological Entanglements.Anna Marmodoro (ed.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
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  22. Tyler Burge, Foundations of Mind: Philosophical Essays Vol. 2 Reviewed By.Dimitria Gatzia - 2008 - Philosophy in Review 28 (3):176-180.
    This volume is essential to anyone doing work on the philosophy of mind. Burge’s contribution to this field of philosophy is of the utmost importance and must be carefully considered if we are to make progress with respect to the nature of mental states and events. The essays included in this volume have established Burge as a leading philosopher of mind in general, and a defender of anti-individualism in particular. The order of the essays in defense of anti-individualism is not (...)
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  23. Putnam on Brains-in-Vats and Radical Skepticism.Duncan Pritchard & Chris Ranalli - 2016 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Brain in a Vat. Cambridge University Press.
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  24. Strange but True On the Counter-Intuitiveness of the Extended Mind Hypothesis.Chauncey Maher & Zed Adams - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (9-10):9-10.
    The Extended Mind Hypothesis (EM) strikes many as counter-intuitive. It is the claim that things outside of human bodies are literally parts of human minds. But EM rests upon a plausible idea: that the world itself is minded when parts of it are functionally equivalent to parts of human minds. In this paper, we address two intuitive criticisms of EM recently expressed by Sam Coleman (Coleman, 2011). The first is that the examples of extended mind offered by advocates of EM (...)
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  25. The Boundaries Still Stand: A Reply to Fisher.Kenneth Aizawa - 2010 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 31 (1):37.
    In his recent critical notice of The Bounds of Cognition in this journal, Justin Fisher advances a set of concerns that favor the hypothesis that, under certain circumstances, cognitive processes span the brain, body, and world. One is that it is too much to require that representations in cognitive process must have non-derived content. A second is that it is possible that extended objects bear non-derived content. A third is that extended cognition might advocate the extension of certain general categories (...)
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  26. Wide Content.Frances Egan - 2009 - In A. Beckerman, B. McLaughlin & S. Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
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  27. The Extended Mind Thesis.Kiverstein Julian, Mirko Farina & Andy Clark - forthcoming - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
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  28. Color Terms and Semantic Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):399-420.
    The paper discusses whether the color terms should be given an externalist semantics. In the literature on the semantics of color terms externalism is standardly taken for granted, and Twin Earth style arguments play a central role. This is notable given that few people would claim that semantic externalism applies across the board, to all types of terms. Why, then, should the color terms belong with this group of terms? I argue that the standard externalist strategies, introduced by Tyler Burge (...)
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  29. Interpretive Charity and Content Externalism.Daniel Dohrn - manuscript
    Interpretive charity is an important principle in devising the content of propositional attitudes and their expression. I want to argue that it does not square well with externalism about content. Although my argument clearly also applies to a principle of maximizing truth (as it requires only the true belief - component of knowledge), I will focus my attention to Timothy Williamson’s more intriguing recent proposal of maximizing knowledge.
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  30. In Defense of Serious Externalism.Thomas D. Senor - 2008 - Southwest Philosophy Review 24 (1):1-12.
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  31. Convention and Language.Henry Jackman - 1998 - Synthese 117 (3):295-312.
    This paper has three objectives. The first is to show how David Lewis' influential account of how a population is related to its language requires that speakers be 'conceptually autonomous' in a way that is incompatible with content ascriptions following from the assumption that its speakers share a language. The second objective is to sketch an alternate account of the psychological and sociological facts that relate a population to its language. The third is to suggest a modification of Lewis' account (...)
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  32. Entitlement, Opacity, and Connection.Brad Majors & Sarah Sawyer - 2007 - In Sanford C. Goldberg (ed.), Internalism and Externalism in Semantics and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 131.
    This paper looks at the debates between internalism and externalism in mind and epistemology. In each realm, internalists face what we call 'The Connection Problem', while externalists face what we call 'The Problem of Opacity'. We offer an integrated account of thought content and epistemic warrant that overcomes the problems. We then apply the framework to debates between internalists and externalists in metaethics.
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  33. Models in the Brain (Book Summary).Dan Ryder - manuscript
    The central idea is that the cerebral cortex is a model building machine, where regularities in the world serve as templates for the models it builds. First it is shown how this idea can be naturalized, and how the representational contents of our internal models depend upon the evolutionarily endowed design principles of our model building machine. Current neuroscience suggests a powerful form that these design principles may take, allowing our brains to uncover deep structures of the world hidden behind (...)
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  34. Semantic Externalism and Psychological Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):158-181.
    Externalism is widely endorsed within contemporary philosophy of mind and language. Despite this, it is far from clear how the externalist thesis should be construed and, indeed, why we should accept it. In this entry I distinguish and examine three central types of externalism: what I call foundational externalism, externalist semantics, and psychological externalism. I suggest that the most plausible version of externalism is not in fact a very radical thesis and does not have any terribly interesting implications for philosophy (...)
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Varieties of Content Externalism
  1. Metafyzika antiindividualismu.Tomas Hribek - 2008 - Praha, Česko: Filosofia.
    [The Metaphysics of Anti-Individualism] A detailed exploration of the implications of psychological externalism -- in particular Tyler Burge's variety, or what he calls "anti-individualism" -- for the mind-body problem. Based on his anti-individualism, Burge famously rejected materialism, but the ramifications of this argument were not properly examined. I show how he rejects the identity, supervenience, and realization forms of materialism, but that he leaves out the possibility of constitution. In fact, this is not the only option that he admits -- (...)
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  2. How to Do Things Without Words.D. Spurrett & S. J. Cowley - 2004 - Language Sciences 26 (5):443-466.
    Clark and Chalmers (1998) defend the hypothesis of an ‘Extended Mind’, maintaining that beliefs and other paradigmatic mental states can be implemented outside the central nervous system or body. Aspects of the problem of ‘language acquisition’ are considered in the light of the extended mind hypothesis. Rather than ‘language’ as typically understood, the object of study is something called ‘utterance-activity’, a term of art intended to refer to the full range of kinetic and prosodic features of the on-line behaviour of (...)
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Twin Earth and Externalism
  1. Propositions, Meaning, and Names.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (3):335-362.
    The object of this paper is to sketch an approach to propositions, meaning and names. The key ingredients are a Twin-Earth-inspired distinction between internal and external meaning, and a middle-Wittgenstein-inspired conception of internal meaning as role in language system. I show how the approach offers a promising solution to the problem of the meaning of proper names. This is a plea for a neglected way of thinking about these topics.
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  2. Externalist Thought Experiments and Direction of Fit.Casey Woodling - 2017 - Argumenta 3 (1):139-156.
    The classic thought experiments for Content Externalism have been motivated by consideration of intentional states with a mind-to-world direction of fit. In this paper, I argue that when these experiments are run on intentional states with a world-to-mind direction of fit, the thought experiments actually support Content Internalism. Because of this, I argue that the classic thought experiments alone cannot properly motivate Content Externalism. I do not show that Content Externalism is false in this paper, just that it cannot be (...)
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  3. Semantic Externalism Without Thought Experiments.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2018 - Analysis (1):81-89.
    Externalism is the thesis that the contents of intentional states and speech acts are not determined by the way the subjects of those states or acts are internally. It is a widely accepted but not entirely uncontroversial thesis. Among such theses in philosophy, externalism is notable for owing the assent it commands almost entirely to thought experiments, especially to variants of Hilary Putnam's famous Twin Earth scenario. This paper presents a thought experiment-free argument for externalism. It shows that externalism is (...)
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  4. Where After All Are the Meanings? A Defense of Internalism. Searle Versus Putnam.Christian Helmut Wenzel - 2004 - Experience and Analysis. Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium 12:408-409.
    There has been recent dispute between Putnam and Searle over whether meanings are “in the head”. Putnam makes use of Twin-Earth thought experiments to show that our mental states alone cannot determine what we refer to (and thus “mean”) and that we rely also on external factors, which are not “in the head”. This suggests to me that we in some way mean more than we actually know. Searle on the other hand makes use of what he calls “Intentional contents”, (...)
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  5. The Dual Concepts Objection to Content Externalism.Bryan Frances - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):123-138.
    Many philosophers have used premises about concepts and rationality to argue that the protagonists in the various Twin Earth thought experiments do not have the concepts that content externalists say they have. This essay argues that this popular internalist argument is flawed in many different ways, and more importantly it cannot be repaired in order to cast doubt on externalism.
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  6. Epistemic Internalism, Content Externalism and the Subjective/Objective Justification Distinction.J. Adam Carter & S. Orestis Palermos - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):231-244.
    Two arguments against the compatibility of epistemic internalism and content externalism are considered. Both arguments are shown to fail, because they equivocate on the concept of justification involved in their premises. To spell out the involved equivocation, a distinction between subjective and objective justification is introduced, which can also be independently motivated on the basis of a wide range of thought experiments to be found in the mainstream literature on epistemology. The subjective/objective justification distinction is also ideally suited for providing (...)
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  7. Something Mental is Just in the Head, and What the Mental Out of the Head is Like.Arvan Marcus - manuscript
    In, “Why Nothing Mental is Just in The Head,” Justin Fisher (Noȗs, 2007) uses a novel thought-experiment to argue that every form of mental internalism is false. This paper shows that Fisher fails to refute mental internalism, and that a new variant of his example actually (a) confirms a form of mental internalism, as well as (b) John Locke's “resemblance thesis,” thereby (c) disconfirming all externalist theories of mental content (the type of theory Fisher takes his original example to prove).
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  8. All the Difference in the World.Tim Crane - 1991 - Philosophical Quarterly 41 (162):1-25.
    The celebrated "Twin Earth" arguments of Hilary Putnam (1975) and Tyler Burge (1979) aim to establish that some intentional states logically depend on facts external to the subjects of those states. Ascriptions of states of these kinds to a thinker entail that the thinker's environment is a certain way. It is not possible that the thinker could be in those very intentional states unless the environment is that way...
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  9. Ontological Minimalism About Phenomenology.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):1-40.
    I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense-data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind-independent objects or property-instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. (...)
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  10. Understanding the Internalism-Externalism Debate: What is the Boundary of the Thinker?Brie Gertler - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):51-75.
    Externalism about mental content is now widely accepted. It is therefore surprising that there is no established definition of externalism. I believe that this is a symptom of an unrecognized fact: that the labels 'mental content externalism' -- and its complement 'mental content internalism' -- are profoundly ambiguous. Under each of these labels falls a hodgepodge of sometimes conflicting claims about the organism's contribution to thought contents, the nature of the self, relations between the individual and her community, and the (...)
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  11. Phenomenal Intentionality Without Compromise.Katalin Farkas - 2008 - The Monist 91 (2):273-93.
    In recent years, several philosophers have defended the idea of phenomenal intentionality : the intrinsic directedness of certain conscious mental events which is inseparable from these events’ phenomenal character. On this conception, phenomenology is usually conceived as narrow, that is, as supervening on the internal states of subjects, and hence phenomenal intentionality is a form of narrow intentionality. However, defenders of this idea usually maintain that there is another kind of, externalistic intentionality, which depends on factors external to the subject. (...)
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  12. Semantic Internalism and Externalism.Katalin Farkas - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 323.
    Abstract: This paper introduces and analyses the doctrine of externalism about semantic content; discusses the Twin Earth argument for externalism and the assumptions behind it, and examines the question of whether externalism about content is compatible with a privileged knowledge of meanings and mental contents.
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  13. A Philosophically Inexpensive Introduction to Twin-Earth.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    I say that it’s philosophically inexpensive because I think it is more convincing than any other Twin-Earth thought experiment in that it sidesteps many of the standard objections to the usual thought experiments. I also discuss narrow contents and give an analysis of Putnam’s original argument.
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  14. On the Explanatory Deficiencies of Linguistic Content.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 93 (1):45-75.
    The Burge-Putnam thought experiments have generated the thesis that beliefs are not fixed by the constitution of the body. However, many philosophers have thought that if this is true then there must be another content-like property. Even if the contents of our attitudes such as the one in ‘believes that aluminum is a light metal’, do not supervene on our physical makeups, nevertheless people who are physical duplicates must be the same when it comes to evaluating their rationality and explaining (...)
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