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.

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.

Author Item Summary Meta data
Twin earth: brain state identical, mental state different.
Davidson I 29
Twin Earth/Davidson: before the difference comes out, one believes to have water in front of him, the other twin earth water, but no one knows what he believes because he cannot claim to believe anything else than the other - no psychological difference - Putnam: therefore, external-subjective factors are responsible for the "object of thought" - DavidsonVsPutnam: he does not know what he believes, but he still knows what he thinks: that would only follow if the object what is used to identify my thoughts would be something for which I should be able to do a differentiation. - I do not run the risk of holding water for twin earth water because I do not know what that is. - I also do not think to see water, and I am right because it is possibly not water, but twin earth water. I know that I think that because I know that I believe that the substance has the same structure as the one I have learned the word of - even if the twins are interchanged in sleep, no one is mistaken about what he thinks himself. - Conclusion: subjective states do not arise from brain states - but from external differences (water/twin earth water).
I 30
Twin earth: Belief content is not known to the subject - distinction is not necessary, not possible at all. - No opposite is conscious - subjective states no consequence of brain states.
Fallacy/Deception: The possibility of error is only then intelligible if a special psychological relation to the object of the "thought-content" is assumed, which should serve for identification.
I 31
Belief/knowledge/thinking/twin earth/Davidson: Conclusion: propositional attitudes are truly psychological states - you always know what you think. There is always an advantage in favor of the thinker himself in the question of what is going on in consciousness.
I 32
Belief/thinking/knowledge/propositional attitudes/content/twin earth/Davidson: Object, not of thinking, (twin earth water), but the object, which regularly indicates the state of consciousness (from learning history).
Frank I 658
Twin Earth/Davidson: Everyone says the truth because the words mean different things - narrow (inner) states are equal - but they believe different things: A believes that water is in front of him, B, twin earth water (but calls it water) - Putnam (among others): no one knows what he thinks - DavidsonVs: the speaker is certainly right, because he has learned the word in his environment.

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

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

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-05-26