Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Lukas Schwengerer
Summary: Addresses the so-called McKinsey problem, which aims to show that semantic externalism and armchair access to the contents of one’s own thoughts are incompatible: the conjunction of the two theses leads to the disastrous conclusion that it is possible to have armchair knowledge of the external world. Sawyer defends externalism by biting the bullet, thereby arguing that we do in fact have armchair knowledge of the external world.
Comment: This paper can be used as a further reading on semantic externalism or self-knowledge. It is well suited for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. Sawyer provides a clear and concise formulation of the McKinsey problem and explores a possible response for externalists by embracing the consequences of accepting both semantic externalism and privileged access.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Sawyer, Sarah. Privileged Access to the World
1998, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4): 523-533.
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