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An Externalist Account of Introspective Knowledge

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Abstract:

The Content Skeptic argues that a subject could not have introspective knowledge of a thought whose content is individuated widely. This claim is incorrect, relying on the tacit assumption that introspective knowledge differs significantly from other species of knowledge. The paper proposes a reliabilist model for understanding introspective knowledge according to which introspective knowledge is simply another species of knowledge, and according to which claims to introspective knowledge are not, as suggested by the Content Skeptic, defeated by the mere possibility of error. This way of understanding introspective knowledge affords a robust theory of privileged access consistent with semantic externalism.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0114.00089

Affiliations: Department of Logic & Metaphysics, University of St. Andrews

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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