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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Individualism and the mental

A different approach is to concede that beliefs with wide contents are not functional states. It says that whether a creature has K or not depends in part on facts about how the creature is related to its external environment. Burge draws an analogy with perception, pointing out that unless one embraces skepticism, perceptual knowledge does not require knowledge of its enabling condition.

This is taken to show that externalism is incompatible with privileged self-knowledge. Consider a mono-lingual English speaker who believes that something exists, or who believes that what will be, will be.

Williamson offers a different account of the explanatory role of wide contents.

Tyler Burge, Individualism and the mental – PhilPapers

Individualism and the Sciences of the Mind. Defence of a Reasonable Individualism.

Whereas believing that it is raining and believing that it is sunny are states with distinct contents but of the same psychological type.

The most well-known arguments for externalism typically make use of thought-experiments in which physically identical individuals are embedded in different social or physical environments. Though externalism may be incompatible with these internalist forms of physicalism, this should not be taken to imply that externalism is itself an antiphysicalist doctrine, for one might hold that although mental contents do not supervene on narrow physical properties, they do supervene on wide physical properties.


Academic Tools How to cite this entry. See also MacDonald and Rowlands But it is implausible that we can gain empirical knowledge of the external world this way, relying only on introspection and armchair reflection on externalism.

Individualism and the mental by Tyler Burge

Externalism and Mind-Body Theories Externalism has important consequences for a number of different mind-body theories.

The issue concerns the conditions under which representational objects or states are regarded as part mejtal a cognitive system. Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive ExtensionOxford: Among intentional mental states, a distinction is sometimes drawn between those that are de dicto of the dictum or proposition and those that are de re of the thing. Cartesian Psychology and Physical Minds: In fact, Horowitz alleges that the various assumptions required by the arguments for externalism are inconsistent though see Brueckner for a reply.

Externalism About Mental Content

But if the database servers are actually owned by a commercial company, legal considerations might mitigate against the idea that the servers are part of our bodies or our minds.

On such a view, if two intrinsically identical individuals are embedded in appropriately different environments, their perceptual states will correlate with different external conditions and so acquire distinct wide contents. In particular, where kental the physical boundary of the subject?

It then follows that externalism is correct with regard to semantic knowledge.

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For further discussion, see BurgePeacockeand also the entry adn narrow mental content. More recently, however, Gertler has argued that there is no understanding of the distinction between internal and external properties including the understanding adopted here that will correctly categorize the views we take to be clearly externalist or internalist.

According to Davidson, the swampman that is produced would have no intentional mental states whatsoever, even though it would behave just like burgw and would appear to other people as having thoughts of its own.

What is the boundary of the thinker? This article reviews the externalism vs.

If these theories of content are correct, they explain why intentional mental states have menyal contents and provide a theoretical basis for externalism. Even if all mental contents of folk psychology turn out to be wide contents, it does not follow that this is also true of the contents of mental states and representations postulated by psychology and cognitive science.

Frances Egan – – Mind He points mentl that it is plausible to take a particular sunburn as identical to a certain state of the body, even if the very same bodily state could have been caused by something other than exposure to sunlight, and so would not have been a sunburn. Phenomenal ConsciousnessCambridge: Find it on Scholar.

But see Warfield for a reply.