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Individualism and the Mental

A brief overview of Tyler Burge's article
by

Kate Rose

on 28 April 2013

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Transcript of Individualism and the Mental

Individualism and the Mental Nulty's Classroom (In 30 minutes or less) That's Tyler Burge Burge's position in this paper is considered "externalist" by others. Either way, he thinks that people's beliefs are dependent on the physical world Burge doesn't like the name calling, and prefers "Anti-Individualism" instead. Dependent on the physical world? ? Representational states don't happen in a vacuum! RMS=Representational Mental State rms Can be limited based on relations to one's environment or social context So, What does Burge have to say about Individualism and the mental? To really understand Burge, you also need to be familiar with a few terms Wide(Broad) Mental Content Narrow Mental Content A few more definitions: Oblique Occurrence- Does not depend on
an individual's environment Depends on features of
the evironment as well as the individual Can't substitute/make inferences about beliefs EX. Water is H20
John thinks that water is not fit to drink
It does NOT follow that John thinks that H20 is not fit to drink
EVEN THOUGH H20 and Water are extensionally equivalent terms Nonoblique Occurences- You can substitute/make inferences about beliefs Ex. John though that THAT water was impure
Nothing would be lost by relacing "water" with "H2o" The term "water" provides no content to John's thought about the impurity of the substance A Thought Experiment This is Peter 1 This is Peter 2 *Both Peter 1 and Peter 2 have the same narrow content So, Their wide content is different due to social context/community practice B1, B2, B3 B1, B2, B3 P P In this case, Peter 1 has a pain in his calf which he THINKS is arthritis.
No one in his world/community has ever agreed/disagreed with this directly to him In this case, Peter 2 also attributes the pain in his calf to arthritis.
His community uses the term arthritis for general pains Burge's Main Argument If content is essentially narrow
then social factors should not play a role in determining mental content
Social factors do clearly play a role in determining content
Therefore, mental content is not determined within the individual Burge's position on:
success verbs
indexicals This thought experiment illustrates that, for Burge, there is no first person privilege What does Kim say about all of this?
Full transcript