The Grice Club


The Grice Club

The club for all those whose members have no (other) club.

Is Grice the greatest philosopher that ever lived?

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Implicature and Transparency


Anti-individualists hold that having a thought with a certain intentional content is a relational rather than an intrinsic property of the subject. Some anti-individualists also hold that thought-content serves to explain the subject’s cognitive perspective. Since there seems to be a tension between these two views, much discussed in the philosophical literature, attempts have been made to resolve it. In an attempt to reconcile these views, and in relation to perception-based demonstrative thoughts, Stalnaker (Our knowledge of the internal world, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) argues that an anti-individualist account of the facts that determine thought-content can be reconciled with a suitably qualified version of a principle of epistemic transparency. Acknowledging this, and in agreement with the view that thought-content should serve to explain the subject’s cognitive perspective, I argue that, his intentions notwithstanding, this view of transparency of thought-contents does not serve to explain the subject’s cognitive perspective on Stalnaker’s own terms and that the intricacies involved in his argumentation for saving his anti-individualist project are indirectly supportive of an individualist account of the subject’s cognitive perspective. In so doing, I leave intact some of his key claims that are plausible in their own right.

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