A Metaphysics for Semantic Internalism
- Paul Tappenden
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The contemporary popularity of semantic externalism has arisen from so-called Twin Earth thought experiments which suggest that the representational content of a natural kind term cannot be wholly determined by processes within a speaker's body. Such arguments depend on the intuition that the extensions of natural kind terms cannot have changed as the result of the scientific investigation of natural kinds' constitutions. I demonstrate that this externalist intuition depends on an assumption about the mentality of isomorphic doppelgangers which has never been questioned but which is nonetheless arguably false. I develop an alternative view of the instantiation of mind which entails a revision of our understanding of the constitution of environmental objects. The picture seems to be fully coherent despite its oddity and I can find no good reason to reject it. The conclusion must be that the case for semantic externalism is thus less compelling than is often supposed.
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- A Metaphysics for Semantic Internalism
Volume 12, Issue 2 , pp 125-136
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
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- Semantic externalism
- Twin earth
- Natural kind
- Set theory
- Paul Tappenden (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Independent researcher, 32 rue Sainte Euphémie, 26400, Crest, France