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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Williamson offers a different account of the explanatory role of wide contents. Related work has investigated the extent to which content externalism conflicts with plausible seeming theses concerning the metaphysics and epistemology of inference.

Their mental states have the same casual powers, and science should capture this common aspect by postulating a shared narrow content which is determined by our intrinsic properties. Ludlow, Peter indiviualism Martin, Norah, Complicated issues are involved in determining whether the external hardware is or is not part of the extended mind. History of Western Philosophy.

On this view, the linguistic contents of that-clauses in belief ascriptions do not accurately capture the psychological contents of mental states. Individuaoism of ThoughtUniversity of Burrge Press. How to cite this entry. Some believe that the argument is too strong in that it seems to establish meaning eliminativism rather than externalism. The evaluation of the classic arguments is still a matter of active debate. The first strategy is to argue that the causal efficacy of a mental state with individuaalism content derives from the causal efficacy of a corresponding internal state.


McGinnSoames is that the argument makes the assumption that semantic facts about meaning and content are reducible to non-semantic ones, an assumption which many philosophers reject.

A mark on the skin created by careful micro-surgery is not a mosquito bite, even if it is intrinsically indistinguishable from a real one. Defence of a Reasonable Individualism. It follows that facts about the environment play no role in determining whether or not the creature has property K.

Being a resident on Twin Earth, this counterpart has only encountered twin-water, and has never encountered samples of water or heard about water from other people. A second line of criticism disagrees with anv intuition that different belief ascriptions are true of the physically identical subjects in the two environments.

If it is found that only Westerners, for example, tend to have externalist intuitions, that could form the basis of a individyalism kind of empirical critique of externalism.

Surely, tne will soon be cross-cultural empirical data on externalist intuitions. Mind, Language, and RealityCambridge: Imagine a scenario where our memory is connected to an external computer database. Hutchins argues that the successful completion of a typical commercial flight requires complex interaction between the pilots and the instruments in the cockpit.

Tyler Burge, Individualism and the mental – PhilPapers

Mentap it is not clear why this causal requirement applies to all thoughts. A different way to defend the explanatory relevance of wide content is to identify its distinctive explanatory role without them being parasitic upon the causal efficacy of intrinsic properties. Another type nurge incompatibility argument McKinseyBrownBoghossian aims to show that externalism leads to some implausible conclusions about what can be known a priori. Block, Deutschbelieve that phenomenal character does not supervene on mental content.


Consciousness and CognitionOxford: If this argument is valid, the same is true of the contents of our thoughts and concepts. A different approach is to concede that beliefs with wide contents are not functional states.

Externalism About Mental Content

The study of semantic knowledge is one area where externalism has direct methodological consequences on cognitive science research. So by Leibniz’s law, mental states are distinct from brain states.

But the problem with this attribution is that it fails to distinguish between the two distinct beliefs that Jane has about her ailments.

Boghossian and Bonjour are important precursors to this discussion. The subject, however, is unable to discriminate between the two places. Narrow contents and contexts are supposed to explain how identical individuals acquire wide contents, and they are supposed to play a central role in psychological explanation. University of Minnesota Press. For discussion of the requirements on physicalism, see the entry on physicalism.

McGinn and Burgeboth argue that externalism refutes the token-identity theory and hence type-identity theory as well. Individualism, Computation, and Perceptual Content. Georgalis takes a similar view, but unlike Crane, he thinks that Jane literally believes that she has arthritis in her thigh in both worlds, and that it is wrong to attribute to her the belief that she has tharthritis.