Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Externalism, philosophy: the thesis that the meanings of the words partially depend on our environment; a) by the influence of the language community (use theory), b) the possibility or impossibility to ever come into contact with objects to refer to them (reference, acquaintance). See also twin earth, anti-individualism, circumstances.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Externalism/Putnam/Kripke: correct causal chains between word and object. > Causal theory.
Externalism/DavidsonVsKripke, DavidsonVsPutnam: complete sentences, interpretation.
I 8
Definition Externalism/Davidson: Events and objects by which a belief is evoked determine at the same time their content - DavidsonVs: (s) nothing outside the mind determines a belief - externalism: shows the correctness (not infallibility) of the majority of judgments - (Davidson Pro).
I 72
Externalism/Davidson: pro variant: from twin earth, not from linguistic division of labor. Therefore no threat of the 1st person authority - Radical interpretation: interpreter has to find out the factors, by means of indirect evidence, that first determine the content of the thought of the others - there is no room for error for one's own content because the same factors determine both thoughts.
I 74
Externalism/Burge: two forms: a): social, meaning from linguistic practice (community) - b) importance of causal history (learning history) dependent on the individual - Burge: causal relationship to the object in order to comprehend content - DavidsonVsBurge: does not protect against error.
K. Glüer, Davidson zur Einführung, 1993
Glüer II 185
Externalism/Putnam/Kripke: correct causal chains between word and object. > Causal Theory - Externalism/DavidsonVsKripke/DavidsonVsPutnam: whole sentences, interpretation - reference of single words/Davidson: theoretical construct - ((s) derived from whole sentences).
Frank I 626ff
Externalism/Davidson: it does not matter if mental states are individuated by something outside, just like sunburn ceases to be on the skin because it has an external cause.
Frank I 663
Externalism/Authority: if thoughts are externally determined, then the subject does not necessarily need to know what it thinks of - if the externalism is correct, then VsFrege: thoughts cannot be completely comprehended - VsDescartes: inner states not certain - Burge: false use of terms: possibility to not know his own thoughts - DavidsonVsBurge: beliefs depend on other beliefs, therefore less strong possibility of error - DavidsonVsBurge: intent of successful communication has no necessary connection to the correct identification of meaning.
I 663-667
Externalism: Putnam: Distinguishing inner and "ordinary" external beliefs - Fodor: "methodological solipsism": only observing internal states - Burge: external factors find their way into the determination of the contents via "thought experiments" - e.g. wrongly used terms: wrong beliefs about oneself possible e.g. arthritis) - DavidsonVsBurge: initially pro: the content is not determined by what is going on in the person, but: content is determined so strong holistically that individual confusion of ideas cannot be so decisive, and therefore no rigid rules for the attribution of thoughts, we are not compelled to ascribe to the words of another person the same meaning as that person.
I 676
Mind/Tradition/DavidsonVsDescartes: if stage with alleged representatives of the objects, how can the mind pave his way out? - but the "objects" do not interest it, but their cousins, the propositions - but the mind has not the solution "in mind": externalism: all that helps to determine the object must likewise be grasped by the mind when it should know in which state it is.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

D. Davidson
Der Mythos des Subjektiven Stuttgart 1993

D. Davidson
Handlung und Ereignis Frankfurt 1990

D. Davidson
Wahrheit und Interpretation Frankfurt 1990

K. Glüer
D. Davidson Zur Einführung Hamburg 1993

Fra I
M. Frank (Hrsg.)
Analytische Theorien des Selbstbewusstseins Frankfurt 1994

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> Counter arguments against Davidson
> Counter arguments in relation to Externalism

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-22