Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Internalism: a term for the endeavor to gain knowledge and insights about an object solely through the means of the theory, to the subject domain of which the object to be examined belongs. Thus, for example, influences such as deviating language usage or changing interests are excluded. If an object is covered by several theories, a clarification is to be made about the theory in which statements are to be made. Antonym of externalism. See also twin earth.

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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Tyler Burge
Frank I 688
BurgeVsInternalism/Individualism: false development of the Cartesian argument: confusion of truth conditions with the conditions of individuation.
1) Descartes asks whether our thoughts are true in counterfactual situations: they are not.
Important Point: this assumes that the thoughts are identical with the corresponding ones from the original situation!
I.e. the conditions of individuation remain constant, the truth conditions change.
Twin Earth/BurgeVs: in fact it is the other way round: the conditions of individuation change.
We know what thoughts we have in the current situation and can imagine that they are wrong. We would also know in a counterfactual situation which thoughts we would have in this situation.
But in the current situation, we do not know anything about thoughts that we would have in counterfactual situations.
Therefore, Cartesianism cannot support internalism.

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.

Burge I
T. Burge
Origins of Objectivity Oxford 2010

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

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-21