Knowing that one knows what one is talking about

In New Essays on Semantic Externalism and Self-Knowledge. MIT Press. pp. 169--184 (2003)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Twin-earth thought experiments, standardly construed, support the externalist doctrine that the content of propositional attitudes involving natural-kind terms supervenes upon properties external to those who entertain them. But this doctrine in conjunction with a common view of self-knowledge might have the intolerable consequence that substantial propositions concerning the environment could be knowable a priori. Since both doctrines, externalism and privileged self-knowledge, appear independently plausible, there is then a paradox facing the attempt to hold them concurrently. I shall argue, however, that externalist claims about the dependence of content on environmental factors presuppose certain theses about the semantics of natural-kind terms that, if sound, would make those claims eligible for empirical justification instead. In fact, that is the only interpretation of their epistemic status that could square with the standard conclusion from twin-earth cases. Furthermore, it can be shown to solve the paradox of externalism and self-knowledge in a more doxastically conservative way--accommodating precisely each of the well-accepted intuitions about knowledge, closure and the individuation of content given up by available competitors.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Mental Files.Recanati, Fran├žois
Deception and Evidence.Silins, Nicholas
Consciousness.Cheng, Tony

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
322 ( #12,926 of 47,294 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #38,813 of 47,294 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.