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date: 22 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The distinctive claim made by semantic externalism is that a subject's thought contents are partly individuated by her environment, and do not supervene on her ‘inner states’, such as her brain states. One of the main objections to this position is the claim that it is incompatible with self-knowledge. A subject's knowledge of her own thoughts seems quite different from her knowledge of what others think. A subject uses behavioural evidence to know what others think. However, typically, a subject can know what she herself thinks without inferring this from her own behaviour, and even prior to manifesting any behaviour which could constitute grounds for such an inference.

Keywords: self-knowledge, semantic externalism, inner states, brain states, behavioural evidence, second-order thoughts

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