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What is externalism?

Philosophical Studies 112 (3):187-208 (2003)

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  1. Innate Mind Need Not Be Within.Riin Kõiv - 2020 - Acta Analytica:1-21.
    It is a widely accepted thesis in the cognitive sciences and in naturalistic philosophy of mind that the contents of at least some mental representations are innate. A question that has popped up in discussions concerning innate mental representations is this. Are externalist theories of mental content applicable to the content of innate representations? Views on the matter vary and sometimes conflict. To date, there has been no comprehensive assessment of the relationship between content externalism and content innateness. The aim (...)
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  • Consciousness.Tony Cheng - 2019 - In Heather Salazar (ed.), Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind. Quebec: Rebus Foundation Publishing. pp. 41-48.
    The term “consciousness” is very often, though not always, interchangeable with the term “awareness,” which is more colloquial to many ears. We say things like “are you aware that ...” often. Sometimes we say “have you noticed that ... ?” to express similar thoughts, and this indicates a close connection between consciousness (awareness) and attention (noticing), which we will come back to later in this chapter. Ned Block, one of the key figures in this area, provides a useful characterization of (...)
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  • On the Metaphysics of Internalism and Externalism.Alberto Voltolini - 2005 - Disputatio 1 (18):1 - 24.
    In this paper, I explore the consequences of the thesis that externalism and internalism are (possibly, but as we will see not necessarily, opposite) metaphysical doctrines on the individuation conditions of a thought. If I am right, this thesis primarily entails that at least some naturalist positions on the ontology of the mind, namely the reductionistic ones, are hardly compatible with both externalism and a version of internalism so conceived, namely relational internalism. Indeed, according to both externalism and relational internalism, (...)
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  • An Argument for Shape Internalism.Jan Almäng - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):819-836.
    This paper is a defense of an internalist view of the perception of shapes. A basic assumption of the paper is that perceptual experiences have certain parts which account both for the phenomenal character associated with perceiving shapes—phenomenal shapes—and for the intentional content presenting shapes—intentional shapes. Internalism about perceptions of shapes is defined as the claim that phenomenal shapes determine the intentional shapes. Externalism is defined as the claim that perceptual experiences represent whatever shape the phenomenal shape reliably tracks. The (...)
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  • What Is the Problem of Perception?Tim Crane - 2005 - Synthesis Philosophica 20 (2):237-264.
    What is the distinctively philosophical problem of perception? Here it is argued that it is the conflict between the nature of perceptual experience as it intuitively seems to us, and certain possibilities which are implicit in the very idea of experience: possibilities of illusion and to the world' which involves direct awareness of existing objects and their properties. But if one can have an experience of the same kind without the object being there -- a hallucination of an object -- (...)
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  • 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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  • Is There a Perceptual Relation?Tim Crane - 2006 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experiences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 126-146.
    P.F. Strawson argued that ‘mature sensible experience (in general) presents itself as … an immediate consciousness of the existence of things outside us’ (1979: 97). He began his defence of this very natural idea by asking how someone might typically give a description of their current visual experience, and offered this example of such a description: ‘I see the red light of the setting sun filtering through the black and thickly clustered branches of the elms; I see the dappled deer (...)
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  • Philosophers, Autistics & Three Year Olds - Semantics & Intuition.Peter Slezak - unknown
    Externalist theories in natural language semantics have become the orthodoxy since Kripke is widely thought to have refuted descriptive theories involving internal cognitive representation of meaning. This shift may be seen in developments in philosophy of language of the 1970s – the direct reference “revolution against Frege”. I consider Fodor’s heretical thought that something has gone “awfully wrong” in this philosophical consensus, perhaps confirming Chomsky’s view that the whole field of philosophical semantics is “utterly wrongheaded” and “crazy” by virtue of (...)
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  • The Problem of Perception.Tim Crane - 2005 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Sense-perception—the awareness or apprehension of things by sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste—has long been a preoccupation of philosophers. One pervasive and traditional problem, sometimes called “the problem of perception”, is created by the phenomena of perceptual illusion and hallucination: if these kinds of error are possible, how can perception be what it intuitively seems to be, a direct and immediate access to reality? The present entry is about how these possibilities of error challenge the intelligibility of the phenomenon of (...)
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  • 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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  • The Problem of Perception in Analytic Philosophy.Tim Crane - unknown
    It will be obvious to anyone with a slight knowledge of twentieth-century analytic philosophy that one of the central themes of this kind of philosophy is the nature of perception: the awareness of the world through the five senses of sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. Yet it can seem puzzling, from our twenty-first-century perspective, why there is a distinctively philosophical problem of perception at all. For when philosophers ask ‘what is the nature of perception?’, the question can be confused (...)
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  • The Creative Aspect of Language Use and the Implications for Linguistic Science.Eran Asoulin - 2013 - Biolinguistics 7:228-248.
    The creative aspect of language use provides a set of phenomena that a science of language must explain. It is the “central fact to which any signi- ficant linguistic theory must address itself” and thus “a theory of language that neglects this ‘creative’ aspect is of only marginal interest” (Chomsky 1964: 7–8). Therefore, the form and explanatory depth of linguistic science is restricted in accordance with this aspect of language. In this paper, the implications of the creative aspect of language (...)
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  • 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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  • Self-Knowledge and Knowledge of Content.Åsa Maria Wikforss - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):399-424.
    The question of whether content externalism poses a threat to the traditional view of self-knowledge has been much debated. Compatibilists have tried to diffuse the threat by appealing to the self-verifying character of reflexive judgments about our own thoughts, while incompatibilists have strenuously objected that this does not suffice. In my paper I argue that this debate is fundamentally misconceived since it is based, on both sides, on the problematic notion of ‘knowledge of content’. What this shows, I argue, is (...)
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  • Externalism sem dogmas.Silva Filho & J. Waldomiro - 2007 - O Que Nos Faz Pensar 123.
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  • Externalism About Mental Content.Joe Lau - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Externalism with regard to mental content says that in order to have certain types of intentional mental states (e.g. beliefs), it is necessary to be related to the environment in the right way.
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  • 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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  • First-Person Investigations of Consciousness.Brentyn Ramm - 2016 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    This dissertation defends the reliability of first-person methods for studying consciousness, and applies first-person experiments to two philosophical problems: the experience of size and of the self. In chapter 1, I discuss the motivations for taking a first-person approach to consciousness, the background assumptions of the dissertation and some methodological preliminaries. In chapter 2, I address the claim that phenomenal judgements are far less reliable than perceptual judgements (Schwitzgebel, 2011). I argue that the main errors and limitations in making phenomenal (...)
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  • Between Internalism and Externalism: Husserl’s Account of Intentionality.Lilian Alweiss - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (1):53-78.
    There is a strong consensus among analytic philosophers that Husserl is an internalist and that his internalism must be understood in conjunction with his methodological solipsism. This paper focuses on Husserl's early work the, Logical Investigations , and explores whether such a reading is justified. It shows that Husserl is not a methodological solipsist: He neither believes that meaning can be reduced to the individual, nor does he assign an explanatory role for meaning to the subject. Explanatory priority is assigned (...)
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  • On the Compatibility of Epistemic Internalism and Content Externalism.B. J. C. Madison - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (3):173-183.
    In this paper I consider a recent argument of Timothy Williamson’s that epistemic internalism and content externalism are indeed incompatible, and since he takes content externalism to be above reproach, so much the worse for epistemic internalism. However, I argue that epistemic internalism, properly understood, remains substantially unaffected no matter which view of content turns out to be correct. What is key to the New Evil Genius thought experiment is that, given everything of which the inhabitants are consciously aware, the (...)
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  • A New Distinction in Metaethics.David DeMatteo - 2019 - A Priori 5 (Spring 2019).
    The purpose of this paper is to make a new distinction in metaethics. Specifically, I distinguish between externalism and internalism about normative principle validity (hereafter EINP). The basic distinction concerns whether the facts that make a given principle normatively valid for some subject are 1) particular facts about that subject (or agent-relative facts) or 2) facts about the world and the nature of agency in general (or agent-neutral facts). I call positions which emphasize 1) internalist positions, and positions which favor (...)
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  • Mente, mundo e autoconhecimento: uma apresentação do externalismo.Waldomiro José da Silva Filho - 2007 - Trans/Form/Ação 30 (1):151-168.
    Este texto faz considerações introdutórias sobre o argumento externalista no contexto do debate filosófico atual. Não é um resumo, um retrato fiel ou uma história do externalismo, mas uma apresentação a partir de um certo ângulo, traçando um cenário precário onde o problema da subjetividade (e os temas a ela associados, como conhecimento e racionalidade) remete à pergunta sobre qual a relação entre a mente e seus conteúdos e o mundo físico-social-lingüístico circundante.
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  • Burge on Perception and Sensation.Lauren Olin - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1479-1508.
    In Origins of Objectivity Burge advances a theory of perception according to which perceptions are, themselves, objective representations. The possession of veridicality conditions by perceptual states—roughly, non-propositional analogues of truth-conditions—is central to Burge’s account of how perceptual states differ, empirically and metaphysically, from sensory states. Despite an impressive examination of the relevant empirical literatures, I argue here that Burge has not succeeded in securing a distinction between perception and “mere” sensation.
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  • Sensorama: A Phenomenalist Analysis of Spacetime and Its Contents.Michael Pelczar - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    How does the modern scientific conception of time constrain the project of assigning the mind its proper place in nature? On the scientific conception, it makes no sense to speak of the duration of a pain, or the simultaneity of sensations occurring in different parts of the brain. Such considerations led Henri Poincaré, one of the founders of the modern conception, to conclude that consciousness does not exist in spacetime, but serves as the basic material out of which we must (...)
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