, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 604-615
Date: 11 Nov 2009

Narrow memory and wide knowledge: An argument for the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge

Abstract

The development of the semantic externalism in the 1970s was followed by a debate on the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge. Boghossian’s memory argument is one of the most important arguments against the compatibilist view. However, some compatibilists attack Boghossian’s argument by pointing out that his understanding of memory is internalistic. Ludlow and others developed the externalist view of memory to defend the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge. However, the externalist view of memory undermines the epistemic status of memory since it gives memory a burden that is too heavy for it to carry. This paper argues that only if we take the content of memory to be narrow and take that of self-knowledge to be wide and replace Cartesian self-knowledge with contextually constrained self-knowledge, can the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge be effectively defended.

摘要

20 世纪70 年代语义外在论观点的提出, 引发了关于外在论与自我知识相容性问题的广泛讨论。 柏高先针对柏芝的相容论论证而提出的记忆论证是非相容论的重要论证之一。 然而, 柏高先的论证由于对记忆持有了内在论的看法而受到相容论者的批评。 拉德娄等人提出外在论的记忆观, 进一步辩护外在论与自我知识的相容性。 然而, 外在论的记忆观由于赋予了记忆过重的负荷而动摇了记忆的认知地位。 只有一方面将记忆内容看作是窄内容, 另一方面将自我知识看作是宽知识, 用具有语境约束性质的自我知识取代笛卡尔的单纯“我思”式的自我知识, 外在论与自我知识的相容性才能得到有效的辩护。

Translated and revised from Ziran bianzhengfa yanjiu 自然辩证法研究 (Studies in Dialectics of Nature), 2008, (4): 12–18