What the Externalist Can Know A Priori
Compatibilism combines an externalist view of mental content with a doctrine of privileged self‐knowledge. The essay presents
a reductio of compatibilism by arguing that if compatibilism were true, we would be in a position to know certain facts about the world a priori, facts that no one can reasonably believe are knowable a priori. Whether this should be taken to cast doubt on externalism or privileged self‐knowledge is not discussed. Consideration is given to the ’empty case’—the case in which a thinker expresses what he takes to be a genuine thought concerning a natural kind but where there is in fact no relevant natural kind, so that the putative natural kind term fails to refer. It is argued that, in such a case, on an externalist conception of natural kind terms, the thinker is deluded in taking himself to be expressing a complete thought, and that such delusions are not compatible with privileged self‐knowledge.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.