Burge’s anti-individualism. Clarifying the thesis. Individualism is the view that all of an individual’s representational mental kinds are con- stitutively independent. Excerpts from Tyler Burge, ‘Individualism and the mental’, Midwest Studies in concern with the individual subject of mental states and events. Burge () Individualism and the Mental – Download as PDF File .pdf) or read online.

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These arguments differ with regard to what it is that can be inferred a priori given that we know we have a certain thought. Externalism and Self-KnowledgeStanford: Sawyer does not take this to imply that externalism combined with self-knowledge is an antidote to skepticism about the external world, though since Putnam there has been interest in the extent to which externalist considerations may be used in arguing against skepticism.

So this seems to imply that wide mental contents cannot be causally relevant because of their relational nature.

From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy doi. Davies and Wright offer a different reply to this second type of incompatibility argument.

Responses to the Classic Arguments The thought experiments above have generated a huge literature. Falvey and Owens object that, although externalism does entail that, in slow switching cases, an agent might not be able to introspectively distinguish her water thoughts from her twin-water thoughts, this is not a bar to a noncomparitive type of priviledged self-knowledge. Roughly, the argument is that our usage adn any linguistic expression must be finite in that the term has only been applied to a finite range of cases.

Frances Egan – – Mind They then use this mutual dependence to argue that, since, as they also believe, phenomenal character is narrow, there are severe liabilities with a wholly externalist account of the mind.

Individualism and the mental by Tyler Burge

However, Horgan and Tienson claim that content and character are mutually dependent. Simon Prosser – forthcoming – Mind and Language. McGinn and Burge rely on a modal argument: Externalism and Mental Causation 8. It is then argued that some beliefs and thoughts are possessed by one of these individuals but not the other.

Social Structure, Narrative and Explanation. One might try to explain what it is to be a particular kind of mental state menta. In the absence of a convincing general argument for narrow content in cognitive science, or a general argument against wide content, it is useful to look at actual cases of scientific theories and see if they invoke wide or narrow contents.


In other words, it is metaphysically possible that there are two intrinsically indistinguishable creatures, only one of which has property Kas ad result of them being situated in different environment. But see Warfield for a reply.

Mirror Sites View this site from another server: Philosophical RelativityMinnesota: See Cowie and Fodor for related discussion. A Reply to Goldberg. Exactly how the skeptical argument is supposed to go and whether the argument is sound is controversial See the review in Boghossian b.

In contrast, active externalism asserts that the environment can play an active role in constituting and driving cognitive processes. Narrow contents and contexts are supposed to explain how identical individuals acquire wide contents, and they are supposed to play ahd central role in psychological explanation. The first strategy is to argue that the causal efficacy of a mental state with wide content derives from the causal efficacy of a corresponding internal state.

He points out that it is plausible to inddividualism a particular sunburn as identical to a certain state of the body, even if the very same bodily state could have been indiviudalism by something other than exposure to sunlight, and so would not have been a sunburn. For the purpose of discussion, knowledge will not count as a psychological type.

Building on a line of thought due originally to BoghossianDavid Sosa argues that content externalism is incompatible with mnetal of the thesis that intrinsic duplicates make the same inferences and the thesis that the logical relations between our thoughts whether one validly follows from another, e. Reason, Truth and HistoryCambridge: One way to resist this conclusion is to reject the implicit assumption that to know one’s own thoughts one must know the environmental conditions that tje such thoughts possible.

Here are a few pertinent examples:. It follows that some beliefs do not supervene on intrinsic facts, and therefore that externalism is true. The macro properties of XYZ are supposed to be just like water: But if the database servers are actually owned by a th company, legal considerations might mitigate against the idea that the servers are part of our bodies or our minds.


Furthermore, because the two situations differ only in ths linguistic usage of the community, it is suggested that mental contents depend in part on communal linguistic practice.

Although this thought experiment was designed to establish indiivdualism externalism, it can be extended to mental contents as well see McGinn The study of semantic knowledge is one area where externalism has direct methodological consequences on cognitive science research.

Surely, there will soon be cross-cultural empirical data on externalist intuitions.

Individualism and the mental

Nonetheless, one might insist that narrow functional states do succeed in defining a kind of mental states with narrow intentional contents. Some philosophers take the position that the contents of some of our thoughts are determined by their conceptual or computational role, which might not depend on the environment.

Cummins argues that empirical research is needed to find out about the nature of belief, not thought experiments. The conception of E-language is that of a convention-based natural language, a social object, whereas I-language is a biologically-endowed language faculty internal to the brain.

This raises the question of whether there are non-deferential concepts to which externalism does not apply. So the exact boundary of the mind might turn out to involve normative and legal considerations. B How to cite this entry.

Individualism or internalism with respect to a property K says that whether a creature has K or not supervenes on its intrinsic properties only. Nonetheless, one might try to justify the causal claim on the basis that the mosquito bite corresponds to the presence of certain chemicals that lead to the swelling. This implies that our interactions with the environment become constitutive of perception and that our visual experience essentially extends beyond the brain.

On the other hand, if a user owns a database individjalism and has exclusive access, we might then be more inclined to say that the server is part of his extended mind.