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Our Knowledge of the Internal World$
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Robert C. Stalnaker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545995

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545995.001.0001

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Knowing What One is Thinking

Knowing What One is Thinking

Chapter:
(p.112) 6 Knowing What One is Thinking
Source:
Our Knowledge of the Internal World
Author(s):

Robert C. Stalnaker (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545995.003.0006

The rejection of the thesis that we stand in an intimate relation of acquaintance to the contents of our thought leaves us with a familiar problem: to explain the sense in which we know what we are thinking, just by thinking it, and to answer this question in a way that is compatible with externalism or anti-individualism about what determines the contents of thought. This chapter responds to an argument by Paul Boghossian that uses a variation on the Twin-Earth story to argue that anti-individualism about thought is incompatible with a thesis of the transparency of thought that is required to explain the role of the attribution of content. Using a number of further variations on the story, it is argued that a contextualist and resolutely externalist account of the relation between propositional content and the states of mind they are used to characterize can defuse the problem.

Keywords:   anti-individualism, twin earth, transparency of thought, contextualism, externalism, Twin-Earth story, Paul Boghossian

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