Externalism, metasemantic contextualism, and self-knowledge

In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Externalism, Self-Knowledge and Skepticism. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 228-247 (2015)
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This paper examines some of the interactions between holism, contextualism, and externalism, and will argue that an externalist metasemantics that grounds itself in certain plausible assumptions about self- knowledge will also be a contextualist metasemantics, and that such a contextualist metasemantics in turn resolves one of the best known problems externalist theories purportedly have with self-knowledge, namely the problem of how the possibility of various sorts of ‘switching’ cases can appear to undermine the ‘transparency’ of our thoughts (in particular, our ability to tell, with respect to any two occurrent thoughts, whether they exercise the same or different concepts).

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Henry Jackman
York University


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