Knowing One's Own Mind
Davidson (Donald)
Source: Davidson - Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective, Chapter 2
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    A number of philosophers have argued that if the contents of thoughts are in part determined by social or other factors external, and perhaps unknown, to the thinker, then the intuition that we know what we think, special cases aside, must be false. This is a mistake; externalism neither shows that meanings ain't in the head' nor that we do not know what we think. The argument to this conclusion depends on the view that thinking does not require inner objects before the mind. Is an attempt to resolve the following apparent difficulty: given that the contents of our minds are in part determined by external factors of which we are ignorant, how is it possible for us to know these contents without the need to appeal to evidence? Davidson resolves this difficulty by, among other things, giving up the idea of 'objects before the mind', for the attributes of such objects cannot be hidden from the agent.


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