Results for 'Semantic Externalism'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. 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 (...)
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  3. Semantic Externalism, Self-Knowledge, and Slow Switching.Jennifer Wilson Mulnix - 2011 - Synthesis Philosophica 26 (2):375-390.
    Semantic externalism holds that the content of at least some of our thoughts is partly constituted by external factors. Accordingly, it leads to the unintuitive consequence that we must then often be mistaken in what we are thinking, and any kind of claim of privileged access must be given up. Those who deny that semantic externalists can retain any account of self-knowledge are ‘incompatibilists’, while those who defend the compatibility of self-knowledge with semantic externalism are (...)
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  4. Descriptive Semantic Externalism.Steven Gross - 2015 - In Nick Riemer (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Semantics. pp. 13-29.
    This chapter examines the “externalist” claim that semantics should include theorizing about representational relations among linguistic expressions and (purported) aspects of the world. After disentangling our main topic from other strands in the larger set of externalist-internalist debates, arguments both for and against this claim are discussed. It is argued, among other things, that the fortunes of this externalist claim are bound up with contentious issues concerning the semantics-pragmatics border.
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  5. Semantic externalism and the mechanics of thought.Carrie Figdor - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (1):1-24.
    I review a widely accepted argument to the conclusion that the contents of our beliefs, desires and other mental states cannot be causally efficacious in a classical computational model of the mind. I reply that this argument rests essentially on an assumption about the nature of neural structure that we have no good scientific reason to accept. I conclude that computationalism is compatible with wide semantic causal efficacy, and suggest how the computational model might be modified to accommodate this (...)
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  6. Inferentialism and Semantic Externalism: A Neglected Debate between Sellars and Putnam.Takaaki Matsui - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (1):126-145.
    In his 1975 paper “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’”, Hilary Putnam famously argued for semantic externalism. Little attention has been paid, however, to the fact that already in 1973, Putnam had presented the idea of the linguistic division of labor and the Twin Earth thought experiment in his comment on Wilfrid Sellars’s “Meaning as Functional Classification” at a conference, and Sellars had replied to Putnam from a broadly inferentialist perspective. The first half of this paper aims to trace the (...)
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    النزعة الخارجية الدلالية Semantic externalism.Salah Ismail - 2020 - منصة معنى، 8 فبراير.
    Semantic externalism Are the meanings of natural kind words, such as “water” or “tiger,” in the head or in the world? This question is pressing and controversial in contemporary philosophy. The nature of the meaning related to propositional contents and words of the natural kind raises a fundamental disagreement between two groups of philosophers: defenders of internalism and defenders of externalism. The two groups differ on how to define meaning. Internalists say that meaning is determined entirely by (...)
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  8. ‘Does Epistemic Naturalism vindicate Semantic Externalism?’- An Episto-semantical Review’.Sanjit Chakraborty - 2017 - RAVENSHAW JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 3:27-37.
    The paper concentrates on how the acceptance of radical naturalism in Quine’s theory of meaning escorts Quine to ponder the naturalized epistemology. W.V. Quine was fascinated by the evidential acquisition of scientific knowledge, and language as a vehicle of knowledge plays a significant role in his regimented naturalistic theory anchored in the scientific framework. My point is that there is an interesting shift from epistemology to language (semantic externalism). The rejection of the mentalist approach on meaning vindicates external (...)
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  9. In Defense of Semantic Externalism.Panu Raatikainen - 2020 - E-Logos 27 (2):57-70.
    The most popular and influential strategies used against semantic externalism and the causal theory of reference are critically examined. It is argued that upon closer scrutiny, none of them emerges as truly convincing.
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  10. Essentially Contested Concepts and Semantic Externalism.Simon J. Evnine - 2014 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 8 (1):118-140.
    In 1956, W.B. Gallie introduced his idea of essentially contested concepts. In my paper, I offer a novel interpretation of his theory and argue that his theory, thus interpreted, is correct. The key to my interpretation lies in a condition Gallie places on essentially contested concepts that other interpreters downplay or dismiss: that the use of an essentially contested concept must be derived “from an original exemplar whose authority is acknowledged by all the contestant users of the concept.” This reveals (...)
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  11. 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 (...)
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  12. Semantic Externalism[REVIEW]Ricardo Miguel & Diogo Santos - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (42):131-137.
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  13. 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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  14. Conceptual atomism and the computational theory of mind: a defense of content-internalism and semantic externalism.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2007 - John Benjamins & Co.
    Contemporary philosophy and theoretical psychology are dominated by an acceptance of content-externalism: the view that the contents of one's mental states are constitutively, as opposed to causally, dependent on facts about the external world. In the present work, it is shown that content-externalism involves a failure to distinguish between semantics and pre-semantics---between, on the one hand, the literal meanings of expressions and, on the other hand, the information that one must exploit in order to ascertain their literal meanings. (...)
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  15. Transfer of warrant, begging the question, and semantic externalism.Helen Beebee - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204):356-74.
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  16. Understanding Meaning and World: A Relook on Semantic Externalism.Dr Sanjit Chakraborty - 2016 - London, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
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  17. Semantic Norms and Temporal Externalism.Henry Jackman - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    There has frequently been taken to be a tension, if not an incompatibility, between "externalist" theories of content (which allow the make-up of one's physical environment and the linguistic usage of one's community to contribute to the contents of one's thoughts and utterances) and the "methodologically individualist" intuition that whatever contributes to the content of one's thoughts and utterances must ultimately be grounded in facts about one's own attitudes and behavior. In this dissertation I argue that one can underwrite such (...)
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  18. Semantic Inferentialism as (a Form of) Active Externalism.J. Adam Carter, James Henry Collin & S. Orestis Palermos - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.
    Within contemporary philosophy of mind, it is taken for granted that externalist accounts of meaning and mental content are, in principle, orthogonal to the matter of whether cognition itself is bound within the biological brain or whether it can constitutively include parts of the world. Accordingly, Clark and Chalmers (1998) distinguish these varieties of externalism as ‘passive’ and ‘active’ respectively. The aim here is to suggest that we should resist the received way of thinking about these dividing lines. With (...)
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  19. The semantic basis of externalism.Michael McKinsey - 2001 - In J. Campbell, M. O. Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth. New York: Seven Bridges Press.
    1. The primary evidence and motivation for externalism in the philosophy of mind is provided by the semantic facts that support direct reference theories of names, indexi- cal pronouns, and natural kind terms. But many externalists have forgotten their sem- antic roots, or so I shall contend here. I have become convinced of this by a common reaction among externalists to the main argument of my 1991 paper AAnti-Individual- ism and Privileged Access.@ In that argument, I concluded that (...)
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  20. 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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  21. The externalist challenge to conceptual engineering.Steffen Koch - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):327–348.
    Unlike conceptual analysis, conceptual engineering does not aim to identify the content that our current concepts do have, but the content which these concepts should have. For this method to show the results that its practitioners typically aim for, being able to change meanings seems to be a crucial presupposition. However, certain branches of semantic externalism raise doubts about whether this presupposition can be met. To the extent that meanings are determined by external factors such as causal histories (...)
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  22. Skepticism, Externalism, and Inference to the Best Explanation.Jochen Briesen - 2008 - Abstracta 4 (1):5-26.
    This paper focuses on a combination of the antiskeptical strategies offered by semantic externalism and the inference to the best explanation. I argue that the most difficult problems of the two strategies can be solved, if the strategies are combined: The strategy offered by semantic externalism is successful against standard skeptical brain-in-a-vat arguments. But the strategy is ineffective, if the skeptical argument is referring to the recent-envatment scenario. However, by focusing on the scenario of recent envatment (...)
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  23. Temporal externalism, constitutive norms, and theories of vagueness.Henry Jackman - 2006 - In Tomas Marvan (ed.), What Determines Content? The Internalism/Externalism Dispute. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Another paper exploring the relation between Temporal externalism and Epistemicism about Vagueness, but with slightly more emphasis on the role of constitutive norms relating to our concept of truth.
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  24. Externalism and A Priori Knowledge of the World: Why Privileged Access is Not the Issue.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (4):433-445.
    I look at incompatibilist arguments aimed at showing that the conjunction of the thesis that a subject has privileged, a priori access to the contents of her own thoughts, on the one hand, and of semantic externalism, on the other, lead to a putatively absurd conclusion, namely, a priori knowledge of the external world. I focus on arguments involving a variety of externalism resulting from the singularity or object‐dependence of certain terms such as the demonstrative ‘that’. McKinsey (...)
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  25. Individualism, externalism and idiolectical meaning.Robert Eamon Briscoe - 2006 - Synthese 152 (1):95-128.
    Semantic externalism in contemporary philosophy of language typically – and often tacitly – combines two supervenience claims about idiolectical meaning (i.e., meaning in the language system of an individual speaker). The first claim is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her intrinsic, physical properties. The second is that the meaning of a word in a speaker’s idiolect may vary without any variation in her understanding of its use. I (...)
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  26. 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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  27. Externalism and A Priori knowledge of the world: Why privileged access is not the issue.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (4):433-445.
    I look at incompatibilist arguments aimed at showing that the conjunction of the thesis that a subject has privileged, a priori access to the contents of her own thoughts, on the one hand, and of semantic externalism, on the other, lead to a putatively absurd conclusion, namely, a priori knowledge of the external world. I focus on arguments involving a variety of externalism resulting from the singularity or object-dependence of certain terms such as the demonstrative ‘that’. McKinsey (...)
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  28. Temporal externalism, Normativity and Use.Henry Jackman - manuscript
    Our ascriptions of content to utterances in the past attribute to them a level of determinacy that extends beyond what could supervene upon the usage up to the time of those utterances. If one accepts the truth of such ascriptions, one can either (1) argue that subsequent use must be added to the supervenience base that determines the meaning of a term at a time, or (2) argue that such cases show that meaning does not supervene upon use at all. (...)
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  29. Temporal externalism, conceptual continuity, meaning, and use.Henry Jackman - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):959-973.
    ABSTRACT Our ascriptions of content to past utterances assign to them a level of conceptual continuity and determinacy that extends beyond what could be grounded in the usage up to their time of utterance. If one accepts such ascriptions, one can argue either that future use must be added to the grounding base, or that such cases show that meaning is not, ultimately, grounded in use. The following will defend the first option as the more promising of the two, though (...)
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  30. What are we talking about? The semantics and politics of social kinds.Sally Haslanger - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (4):10-26.
    Theorists analyzing the concepts of race and gender disagree over whether the terms refer to natural kinds, social kinds, or nothing at all. The question arises: what do we mean by the terms? It is usually assumed that ordinary intuitions of native speakers are definitive. However, I argue that contemporary semantic externalism can usefully combine with insights from Foucauldian genealogy to challenge mainstream methods of analysis and lend credibility to social constructionist projects.
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  31. The Semantic Realism/Anti-Realism Dispute and Knowledge of Meanings.Panu Raatikainen - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5:1-13.
    Here the relationship between understanding and knowledge of meaning is discussed from two different perspectives: that of Dummettian semantic anti-realism and that of the semantic externalism of Putnam and others. The question addressed is whether or not the truth of semantic externalism would undermine a central premise in one of Dummetts key arguments for anti-realism, insofar as Dummetts premise involves an assumption about the transparency of meaning and semantic externalism is often taken to (...)
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  32. Temporal externalism and epistemic theories of vagueness.Henry Jackman - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (1-2):79-94.
    'Epistemic' theories of vagueness notoriously claim that (despite the appearances to the contrary) all of our vague terms have sharp boundaries, it's just that we can't know what they are. Epistemic theories are typically criticized for failing to explain (1) the source of the ignorance postulated, and (2) how our terms could come to have such precise boundaries. Both of these objections will, however, be shown to rest on certain 'presentist' assumptions about the relation between use and meaning, and if (...)
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  33. Semantic Deference versus Semantic Coordination.Laura Schroeter & François Schroeter - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):193-210.
    It's widely accepted that social facts about an individual's linguistic community can affect both the reference of her words and the concepts those words express. Theorists sympathetic to the internalist tradition have sought to accommodate these social dependence phenomena without altering their core theoretical commitments by positing deferential reference-fixing criteria. In this paper, we sketch a different explanation of social dependence phenomena, according to which all concepts are individuated in part by causal-historical relations linking token elements of thought.
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  34. Intuitions and semantic theory.Henry Jackman - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (3):363-380.
    While engaged in the analysis of topics such as the nature of knowledge, meaning, or justice, analytic philosophers have traditionally relied extensively on their own intuitions about when the relevant terms can, and can't, be correctly applied. Consequently, if intuitions about possible cases turned out not to be a reliable tool for the proper analysis of philosophically central concepts, then a radical reworking of philosophy's (or at least analytic philosophy's) methodology would seem to be in order. It is thus not (...)
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  35. Semantic Pragmatism and A Priori Knowledge.Henry Jackman - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):455-480.
    Hillary Putnam has famously argued that we can know that we are not brains in a vat because the hypothesis that we are is self-refuting. While Putnam's argument has generated interest primarily as a novel response to skepticism, his original use of the brain in a vat scenario was meant to illustrate a point about the "mind/world relationship." In particular, he intended it to be part of an argument against the coherence of metaphysical realism, and thus to be part of (...)
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  36. النزعة الداخلية الدلالية Semantic internalism.Ismail Salah - 2020 - منصة معنى.
    The semantic dispute revolves around the definition of meaning: internalists say that meaning is determined entirely by aspects that are internal to the speaker, while externalists say that meaning is determined, at least in part, by features that are external to the speaker. This article contains a statement of the ideas of semantic internalism, the arguments that support it, and some of the responses of its supporters to their opponents. This tendency is supported by philosophers such as Searle, (...)
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  37. Semantic Internalism is a Mistake.Krystyna Bielecka - 2017 - Hybris. Internetowy Magazyn Filozoficzny 38:123-146.
    The concept of narrow content is still under discussion in the debate over mental representation. In the paper, one-factor dimensional accounts of representation are analyzed, particularly the case of Fodor's methodological solipsism. In methodological solipsism, semantic properties of content are arguably eliminated in favor of syntactic ones. If “narrow content” means content properties independent of external factors to a system (as in Segal's view), the concept of content becomes elusive. Moreover, important conceptual problems with one-factor dimensional account are pointed (...)
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  38. Intrinsically Semantic Content and the Intentionality of Propositional Attitudes.Sudan A. Turner - 2004 - Dissertation, University of Washington
    ABSTRACT -/- A propositional attitude (PA) is a belief, desire, fear, etc., that x is the case. This dissertation addresses the question of the semantic content of a specific kind of PA-instance: an instance of a belief of the form all Fs are Gs. The belief that all bachelors are sports fans has this form, while the belief that Spain is a country in Eastern Europe do not. Unlike a state of viewing the color of an orange, a belief-instance (...)
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  39. Conceptual Role Semantics and Naturalizing Meaning.Gábor Forrai - 2008 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (24):337-348.
    In this paper I will do three things. One, to explain why conceptual role semantics seems an attractive theory of meaning (I). Two, to sketch a version of it which has a good chance of withstanding some of the standard objections (II-III). Three, to see what follows from this version with respect to the naturalization of meaning (IV).
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  40. Meaning in time: on temporal externalism and Kripkenstein’s skeptical challenge.Jaakko Reinikainen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (288):1-27.
    The main question of metasemantics, or foundational semantics, is why an expression token has the meaning (semantic value) that it in fact has. In his reading of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later work, Saul Kripke presented a skeptical challenge that threatened to make the foundational question unanswerable. My first contention in this paper is that the skeptical challenge indeed poses an insoluble paradox, but only for a certain kind of metasemantic theory, against which the challenge effectively works as a reductio ad (...)
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  41. Can groups have concepts? Semantics for collective intentions.Cathal O'Madagain - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):347-363.
    A substantial literature supports the attribution of intentional states such as beliefs and desires to groups. But within this literature, there is no substantial account of group concepts. Since on many views, one cannot have an intentional state without having concepts, such a gap undermines the cogency of accounts of group intentionality. In this paper I aim to provide an account of group concepts. First I argue that to fix the semantics of the sentences groups use to make their decisions (...)
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  42. Why the Debate Between Originalists and Evolutionists Rests on a Semantic Mistake.John M. Collins - 2011 - Law and Philosophy 30 (6):645-684.
    I argue that the dispute between two leading theories of interpretation of legal texts, textual originalism and textual evolutionism, depends on the false presupposition that changes in the way a word is used necessarily require a change in the word’s meaning. Semantic externalism goes a long way towards reconciling these views by showing how a word’s semantic properties can be stable over time, even through vicissitudes of usage. I argue that temporal externalism can account for even (...)
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  43. Incompatibility Arguments and Semantic Self Knowledge.Henry Jackman - 2007 - Southwest Philosophy Review 23 (1):173-180.
    There has been much discussion recently of what has been labeled the “Brown-Boghossian-McKinsey”, “Brown-McKinsey” or sometimes just “McKinsey” arguments for the incompatibility of externalism and self-knowledge. However, while the three author's arguments have been treated as interchangeable, they are not identical. In particular, Brown’s and Boghossian’s arguments have a fairly serious flaw that cannot so easily be attributed to McKinsey. In what follows, I’ll (1) present a version of the ‘received’ “Brown-Boghossian-McKinsey” argument, (2) outline what I take to be (...)
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  44. Brandom on Two Problems of Conceptual Role Semantics.Gabor Forrai - 2009 - In Barbara Merker (ed.), Vertehen nach Heidegger und Brandom.
    The paper examines how Brandom can respond to two objections raised against another sort of inferentialism, conceptual role semantics. After a brief explanation of the difference between the motivations and the nature of the two accounts (I), I argue that externalism can be accommodated within Brandomian inferentialism (II). Then I offer a reconstruction of how Brandom tries to explain mutual understanding (III-IV). Finally I point out a problem in Brandom’s account, which is this. Brandom’s inferential roles are social and (...)
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  45. Language and scientific explanation: Where does semantics fit in?Eran Asoulin - 2020 - Berlin, Germany: Language Science Press.
    This book discusses the two main construals of the explanatory goals of semantic theories. The first, externalist conception, understands semantic theories in terms of a hermeneutic and interpretive explanatory project. The second, internalist conception, understands semantic theories in terms of the psychological mechanisms in virtue of which meanings are generated. It is argued that a fruitful scientific explanation is one that aims to uncover the underlying mechanisms in virtue of which the observable phenomena are made possible, and (...)
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  46. How Reductive Analyses of Content are Confused and How to Fix Them: A Critique of Varitel Semantics.Nancy Salay - 2021 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 42 (2):109-138.
    The “problem of intentionality” from the vantage point of a representational understanding of mind is explaining what thoughts and beliefs are and how they guide behaviour. From an anti-representationalist perspective, on the other hand, on which cognition itself is taken to be a kind of action, intentionality is a capacity to engage in behaviour that is meaningfully directed toward or about some situation. That these are not in fact competing insights is obscured by the representational/anti-representational framing of the debate. This (...)
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  47. Self-Knowledge and Closure.Sven Bernecker - 1998 - In Peter Ludlow & Norah Martin (eds.), Externalism and Self-Knowledge. CSLI Publications. pp. 333-349.
    In this paper I argue in favor of the compatibility of semantic externalism with privileged self-knowledge by showing that an argument for incompatibilism from switching scenarios fails. Given the inclusion theory of self-knowledge, the hypothesis according to which I am having twater thoughts while thinking that I have water thoughts simply isn't a (entertainable) possibility. When I am on Earth thinking earthian concepts, I cannot believe that I am thinking that twater is wet for I don't have the (...)
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  48. Criticizing Social Reality from Within: Haslanger on Race, Gender, and Ideology.Titus Stahl - 2014 - Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy (1):5-12.
    This paper critically evaluates the semantic externalist conception of Race and Gender concepts put forward in Sally Haslanger's 2012 essay collection "Resisting Reality". I argue that her endorsement of "objective type externalism" limits the options for critique compared to social externalist approaches.
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  49. Knowing that one knows what one is talking about.Susana Nuccetelli - 2003 - In New Essays on Semantic Externalism and Self-Knowledge. MIT Press. pp. 169--184.
    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, (...)
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  50. Musical works are mind-independent artifacts.Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė - 2023 - Synthese 203 (1):1-28.
    Realism about musical works is often tied to some type of Platonism. Nominalism, which posits that musical works exist and that they are concrete objects, goes with ontological realism much less often than Platonism: there is a long tradition which holds human-created objects (artifacts) to be mind-dependent. Musical Platonism leads to the well-known paradox of the impossibility of creating abstract objects, and so it has been suggested that only some form of nominalism becoming dominant in the ontology of art could (...)
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