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Gow, Laura, , . The Limitations of Perceptual Transparency
2016, Philosophical Quarterly 66: 723-744
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by:

Abstract: My first aim in this paper is to show that the transparency claim cannot serve the purpose to which it is assigned; that is, the idea that perceptual experience is transparent is no help whatsoever in motivating an externalist account of phenomenal character. My second aim is to show that the internalist qualia theorist’s response to the transparency idea has been unnecessarily concessive to the externalist. Surprisingly, internalists seem to allow that much of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience depends essentially (and not just causally) upon externally located properties. They argue that we can also be aware of internal, non-intentional qualia. I present an alternative response the internalist can make to the transparency claim: phenomenal character is wholly internal, and seeming to be aware of externally located properties just is being aware of internally constituted experiential features.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Nagel, Jennifer, , . Knowledge and reliability
, Kornblith, Hilary & McLaughlin, Brian (eds.), Alvin Goldman and his Critics. Blackwell.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Internalists have criticised reliabilism for overlooking the importance of the subject’s point of view in the generation of knowledge. This paper argues that there is a troubling ambiguity in the intuitive examples that internalists have used to make their case, and on either way of resolving this ambiguity, reliabilism is untouched. However, the argument used to defend reliabilism against the internalist cases could also be used to defend a more radical form of externalism in epistemology.

Comment: This paper defends reliabilism from criticisms according to which our intuition tells against reliabilism. It is suitable for an introductory epistemology course, sessions on reliabilism or epistemic externalism.

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Oshana, Marina, , . Personal Autonomy and Society
1998, Journal of Social Philosophy 29(1): 81–102.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Content: Oshana argues against ‘internalist’ theories of autonomy that focus exclusively on psychological conditions internal to the agent – what goes on inside her head – and suggests instead that certain social relations must obtain between the agent and those around her for genuine autonomy to be possible.

Comment: Oshana argues that personal autonomy is a socio-relational phenomenon partially constructed by external, social relations. She also offers an interesting and detailed critique of internalist accounts, which makes the text very useful in teaching on autonomy and free will in general. The text is best used as a further reading in undergraduate and a more central required reading in postgraduate teaching. It offers a good synopsis of Gerald Dworkin’s influential conception of autonomy.

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Srinivasan, Amia, , . Normativity without Cartesian Priviledge
2015, Philosophical Issues: 25 (1): 273-299.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Summary: This paper aims to explore the implication of rejecting Cartesianism for our relationship to the normative realm. It is argued that it implies that this relationship is more fraught than many would like to think. Without privileged access to our own minds, there are no norms that can invariably guide our actions, and no norms that are immune from blameless violation. This will come as bad news to those normative theorists who think that certain central normative notions – e.g. the ethical ought or epistemic justification – should be cashed out in terms of subjects’ mental states precisely in order to generate norms that are action-guiding and immune from blameless vi- olation. Meanwhile Anti-Cartesianism might come as good news to those normative theorists who resist cashing out norms in terms of mental states. For Anti-Cartesnianism implies that no norms – however closely tied to the mental – can be perfectly action-guiding or totally immune from blameless violation. More generally, once we have accepted that our relationship to our own minds lacks the perfect intimacy promised by Cartesianism, we are, for better or worse, left with the view that the normative realm is suffused with ignorance and bad luck.

Comment: This is a good paper for teachings on epistemic normativity, more specifically on normative externalism. Having pre-knowledge on epistemic internalism and extermalism would be helpful in understanding this paper, but not necessarily required.

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