Single Idea 3999

[catalogued under 18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content]

Full Idea

According to externalists, Davidson's 'swampman' is your exact duplicate in brains states, but hasn't had time to become acquainted with much, so he has virtually no beliefs.


'Swampman' is the concept of a complete human being formed by pure chance in a swamp

Gist of Idea

A spontaneous duplicate of you would have your brain states but no experience, so externalism would deny him any beliefs


David Lewis (Lewis: reduction of mind (on himself) [1994], p.425)

Book Reference

'A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind', ed/tr. Guttenplan,Samuel [Blackwell 1995], p.425

A Reaction

An implausible fantasy, but it does highlight the fact that beliefs and concepts are primarily internal states.