VI—Reliabilism, Knowledge, and Mental Content
Author: Brown, Jessica
Source: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 100, Number 2, April 2000 , pp. 115-135(21)
Abstract:I consider whether one particular anti-individualist claim, the doctrine ofobject-dependent thoughts (DODT), is compatible with the Principle of Privileged Access, or PPA, which states that, in general, a subject can have non-empirical knowledge of her thought contents. The standard defence of the compatibility of anti-individualism and PPA emphasises the reliability of the process which produces a subject's second order beliefs about her thought contents. I examine whether this defence can be applied to DODT, given that DODT generates the possibility of illusions of thought. Drawing on general epistemological literature, I distinguish several senses of reliability, and argue that in the relevant sense—‘global reliability’—DODT does sometimes threaten reliability and hence PPA.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, UK
Publication date: April 2000