On The Metaphysics of Internalism and Externalism

Alberto Voltolini
2005 Disputatio  
In this paper, I explore the consequences of the thesis that externalism and internalism are (possibly, but as we will see not necessarily, opposite) metaphysical doctrines on the individuation conditions of a thought. If I am right, this thesis primarily entails that at least some naturalist positions on the ontology of the mind, namely the reductionistic ones, are hardly compatible with both externalism and a version of internalism so conceived, namely relational internalism. Indeed,
more » ... to both externalism and relational internalism, intentionality constitutes (or at least grounds) the relational content property providing the individuation conditions of a thought, as a relation to an outer or to an inner object respectively. Yet since intentionality turns out to be a modal, hence a nonnatural, property, both externalism and relational internalism deny to thoughts at least token-identity with physical states. Finally, I will give some support to the idea that externalism and internalism must be interpreted as doctrines on the individuation conditions of a thought.
doi:10.2478/disp-2005-0002 fatcat:4ebikpf2zjgfbmgfdejbey7lqe