Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Twin earth: is an expression from a thought experiment by H. Putnam (H. Putnam, The meaning of ‘meaning’, In Philosophical Papers, Vol. 2 Mind, Language and Reality, Cambridge, 1985). It is assumed that there is a second earth, which resembles our own in every detail, except for the composition of the substance water. However, the twin earth-water has phenomenologically the same properties as our water and is also called water there. The example should show that we cannot determine the reference of expressions independently of the environment. See also reference, externalism, internalism, anti-individualism.

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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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Books on Amazon
Twin Earth/TE: a particular word usage may be right in one situation and wrong in a different one, even if one cannot distinguish between the situations.
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I 191
Twin Earth: the inhabitants do not need to be able to specify that they have different terms. They are not omniscient.
Visitors might use the terms inappropriately, the circumstances of the right non-inferential use of the German word for "water" requires that it is used as a response to H2O.
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I 958
Order/Twin Earth/Brandom: it does not help to speak in concepts of what individuals can distinguish, because what they can react to depends on what reactions are considered to be different and the same problem occurs with regard to the vocabulary used - Problem: specifying vocabulary that fulfils two conditions: 1) The twins must be indistinguishable in different environments because of their description in that vocabulary (physical language is not enough for that) - 2) The sub-determination of the semantic properties of their states in this limited vocabulary must show something interesting.


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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.

Bra I
R. Brandom
Expressive Vernunft Frankfurt 2000

Bra II
R. Brandom
Begründen und Begreifen Frankfurt 2001


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-11-17