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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

(p.112) 6 Knowing What One is Thinking
Our Knowledge of the Internal World

Robert C. Stalnaker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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