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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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Acquaintance and Essence

Acquaintance and Essence

(p.94) 5 Acquaintance and Essence
Our Knowledge of the Internal World

Robert C. Stalnaker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops and further criticizes the foundationalist conception of intentionality. The focus is on a cluster of theses defended by David Lewis concerning singular or de re thought, the nature of qualia, and the role of experience in grounding knowledge. Lewis explicitly rejects the thesis that phenomenal experience brings knowledge of the essence of that experience, but it is argued that other theses about knowledge and experience that he defends commit him to this thesis. It is argued, more generally, that it is a mistake to try to base either experience or thought on a relation of acquaintance that reveals the essential nature of the experience or the content of thought.

Keywords:   foundationalism, intentionality, qualia, phenomenal experience, de re thought, David Lewis

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