Download e-book for kindle: Anti-Individualism and Knowledge by Jessica Brown

By Jessica Brown

Modern philosophy of brain is ruled through anti- individualism, which holds subject's options are decided not just by way of what's inside of her head but additionally by way of points of her surroundings. regardless of its dominance, anti-individualism is topic to a frightening array of epistemological objections: that it really is incompatible with the privileged entry each one topic has to her recommendations, that it undermines rationality, and, absurdly, that it presents a brand new path to a priori wisdom of the area. during this rigorous and persuasive research, Jessica Brown defends anti- individualism from those epistemological objections. The dialogue has vital outcomes for key epistemological matters comparable to skepticism, closure, transmission, and the character of data and warrant. in line with Brown's research, one major cause of considering that anti-individualism is incompatible with privileged entry is that it undermines a subject's introspective skill to tell apart sorts of strategies. So clinically determined, the traditional specialise in a subject's reliability approximately her techniques offers no enough answer. Brown defuses the objection by way of attract the epistemological suggestion of a suitable replacement. additional, she argues that, given a formal realizing of rationality, anti- individualism is suitable with the thought that we're rational matters. in spite of the fact that, the dialogue of rationality presents a brand new argument that anti-individualism is in stress with Fregean feel. ultimately, Brown indicates that anti-individualism doesn't create a brand new path to a priori wisdom of the realm. whereas rejecting ideas that limit the transmission of warrant, she argues that anti-individualists may still deny that we have got the kind of wisdom that will be required to exploit a priori wisdom of inspiration content material to achieve a priori wisdom of the realm.

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In particular, we would expect that she is able to notice if an object changes from yellow to blue. We would also expect that she can reliably say of any pair of objects from a collection of objects, all of which are either blue or yellow but not both, whether or not they are the same color. Last, we would expect that her ability to distinguish the two colors could be manifested in an ability to act differentially with respect to samples of those colors. Suppose that we show her objects some of which are yellow and some of which are blue (but none of which is both), and ask her to carry out these instructions: Press button A iff the object is blue.

Red is a color’; see chap. 1, sec. 7). Anti-individualism does not merely stress the role of the environment in acquiring concepts; it also holds that the content of a subject’s propositional attitudes is individuated partly in terms of environmental factors about which the subject may be ignorant or mistaken. As a result, antiindividualism may seem intuitively to threaten a subject’s a priori knowledge of the contents of her propositional attitudes. As the Twin Earth cases illustrate, a subject may have different thoughts in different environments, say, water thoughts on Earth and twater thoughts on Twin Earth.

Although Sally’s thought contents change as a result of the switch, it seems that she would fail to notice the change in her environment or her thoughts. It is part of the case that Sally is switched unwittingly and that the two environments appear exactly the same to her. If we were to ask Sally whether her thoughts have changed in content after they have in fact done so, it seems likely that she would say they have not. Sally could know that her thought contents have changed only by learning that she has been switched between different environments.

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