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Williamson on Knowledge$
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Patrick Greenough and Duncan Pritchard

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287512.001.0001

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Primeness, Internalism, Explanation

Primeness, Internalism, Explanation

Chapter:
(p.109) 7 Primeness, Internalism, Explanation
Source:
Williamson on Knowledge
Author(s):

Frank Jackson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287512.003.0008

In order for subjects to know or remember, they must be the right way internally, and the environment they inhabit must be the right way. Those in a deep coma don't know or remember anything; they fail the internal constraint. No-one knows or remembers that all swans are white, because the environment is one where some swans are black. Should we then think of knowing and remembering as composite states or conditions, a kind of conjunction of the internal and the external, and what would this imply for explanations of behaviour in terms of what subjects know and remember? This chapter argues that knowing and remembering are composite states playing distinctive roles in causal explanations of behaviour. The discussion is set against arguments by Timothy Williamson that knowing and remembering are prime states.

Keywords:   explanations of behaviour, composite states, factive mental states, Timothy Williamson

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