Shelter for the Cognitively Homeless

Synthese 148 (2):303-308 (2006)
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Abstract

One of the main strands of the Cartesian tradition is the view that the mental realm is cognitively accessible to us in a special way: whenever one is in a mental state of a certain sort, one can know it just by considering the matter. In that sense, the mental realm is thought to be a cognitive home for us, and the mental states it comprises are luminous. Recently, however, Timothy Williamson has argued that we are cognitively homeless: no mental state is in fact luminous. But his argument depends on an excessively strong account of luminosity. I formulate a weaker conception of luminosity that is unaffected by Williamson's argument and yet is substantial enough to satisfy those who wish to retain this part of the Cartesian tradition.

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Baron Reed
Northwestern University

Citations of this work

Mentalism and Epistemic Transparency.Declan Smithies - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):723-741.
What It's Like To Have a Cognitive Home.Matt Duncan - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):66-81.
Luminous enough for a cognitive home.Richard Fumerton - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (1):67 - 76.
Skeptics without borders.Kevin Meeker & Ted Poston - 2010 - American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (3):223.

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References found in this work

Cognitive homelessness.Timothy Williamson - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (11):554-573.

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