Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.757669
Title: Reconciling content-externalism and self-knowledge : two frameworks considered
Author: Sorgiovanni, Ben
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 4808
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
In this thesis, I assess the prospects for reconciling content-externalism and crucial guiding intuitions about self-knowledge within two different frameworks, respectively. The first framework belongs to the prominent contemporary externalist, Tyler Burge. The second framework is built from central strands of thought in Ludwig Wittgenstein's later work. I argue that a tension between the basic externalist intuition and crucial guiding intuitions about self-knowledge arises within a Burgean framework which does not arise within a Wittgensteinian framework. I show that given Burge's views about the individuation of mental content, switching a subject slowly between two relevantly dissimilar contexts can undermine knowledgeability of her epistemic reasons. I argue that this is a troubling result, given Burge's views about the sorts of things that epistemic reasons are. On Burge's view, epistemic reasons are rational relations between mental states. If slow-switching can undermine knowledgeability of one's epistemic reasons, then it can undermine knowledgeability of the rational relations between mental states. But the thought that the knowledgeability of the rational relations between mental states might be sensitive to changes in one's context in this way seems at odds with our intuitive picture of self-knowledge. I argue that this tension does not arise within a Wittgensteinian framework because there is evidence that Wittgenstein rejects certain of the claims about the individuation of mental content which generate the tension in Burge's case. The thesis examines the substantive similarities and differences between the Burgean and Wittgensteinian frameworks more generally. In doing so, it maps two contrasting ways in which the basic content-externalist intuition might be elaborated.
Supervisor: Child, Bill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.757669  DOI: Not available
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