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Review of  Reflections and Replies

Reviewer: Anne Reboul
Book Title: Reflections and Replies
Book Author: Martin Hahn Bjørn Ramberg
Publisher: MIT Press
Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
Issue Number: 15.1691

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Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 11:22:25 +0200
From: Anne Reboul
Subject: Reflections and Replies: Essays on the philosophy of Tyler Burge

EDITOR: Hahn, Martin; Ramberg, Bjørn
TITLE: Reflections and Replies
SUBTITLE: Essays on the philosophy of Tyler Burge
YEAR: 2003

Anne Reboul, Institute for Cognitive Sciences, CNRS, France

The book is neatly divided in two parts, the first one
filled with articles commenting on various aspects of Tyler
Burge's philosophy, the second part presenting Burge's
answers to these comments. It opens with an introduction
presenting Burge's contributions to philosophy as well as
an outline of the following papers (both comments and
answers). As the content of the individual papers will be
presented below, I will only report on the presentation of
Burge's philosophy. The editors (who authored the
introduction) concentrate on Burge's contribution to anti-
individualism (or externalism) about mental content. This
began in a paper (''Individualism and the mental'') in which
Burge introduced a variation on Putnam's Twin Earth thought
experiment. In that experiment, Putnam (1975) introduced
Twin Earth, which is physically identical to Earth but for
one fact: what passes there for water does not have
chemical composition H2O but XYZ. Thus, though a given
Earthian and his/her Twin Earth counterpart (being
themselves physically identical) are apparently in the same
psychological state, the meanings for their respective
words ''water'' are not identical. This led Putnam to the
famous conclusion that ''meanings ain't in the head'',
thought specifically to apply to natural kind terms through
an intrinsic indexicality of these terms. In Burge's
version, a patient goes to his/her doctor complaining of
arthritis in his/her thigh, to be immediately informed by
the doctor that arthritis being in the joint, the patient
does not suffer from arthritis in his/her thigh. On Twin
Earth, the term ''arthritis'' is not so restricted and the
twin patient thus uses the word correctly but does not mean
the same by it as the Earthian patient. Burge's conclusion
differs from Putnam in that he concludes that the twins are
not in identical psychological states, because they use
different concepts with different intentional contents.
Thus ''Burge's anti-individualism concerns thought, not
linguistic meaning'' (xiv) and it is the social facts not
the physical environment that varies. Burge also rejected
in following papers the idea that it is indexicality which
is the issue in Putnam's original experiment. Another
important aspect of his views is the idea that we can
entertain concepts that we incompletly understand. The
debate has raged not only regarding the definition of
''concept'' but also on the possible consequences of Burge's
specific brand of anti-individualism: for instance, doesn't
it lead to a rejection of first-person authority? And what
of the local supervenience of the mental on the physical?

The first paper, ''Burge, Descartes, and Us'', by Normore
discusses a paper on Descartes by Burge and attempts to
recast Descartes' contribution to philosophy of mind in a
new perspective. Burge's claim in the original paper was
that Descartes was the origin of individualism in
philosophy of mind, where ''individualism'' is to be
understood as the view that mental states can be
individuated independently of the nature of the external
world and its components. Normore proposes to go back to
Descartes to check the validity of Burge's comment. This
leads him to a central question in contemporary philosophy,
i.e., how can the intuition that reference is direct, fixed
by (causal) relations with external objects, be combined
with another intuition to the effect that concepts and
percepts can misrepresent their objects? This problem,
according to Normore, is also at the heart of the Cartesian
account of representation. Externalism was available to
Descartes and it is Normore's contention that Cartesianism
is, to a certain degree, externalist. The paper closes with
a letter purporting to be from Descartes to Burge, the
conclusion being that both Burge and Descartes are
externalists, albeit of a different sort.

Barry Stroud signs the next paper, on ''Anti-individualism
and Skepticism''. As he notes, anti-individualism about
perception requires not immunity to error, but the ability
to perceive things as they are. This raises the further
question of whether this is enough to reject skepticism
about perception, as was claimed by Davidson. This,
according to Stroud, is not a claim that Burge would want
to make. More modestly, Burge would want to prove ''for some
of the particular things that philosophical scepticism
would say we don't know, that we do or can know them after
all'' (19). The reason for Davidson's stronger view is to be
found in his notion of ''interpretation'' of one another's
behavior and communication: this can only be done through
common reference to external objects and states of affairs.
This leads Davidson to the view that belief is, by its very
nature, veridical. For Burge, by contrast, though anti-
individualism is supported by our interpretive activities,
this does not entail that beliefs are mostly true.
Skepticism starts from the logical point that all our
beliefs could be false. The idea that the more moderate
anti-individualist view can defend is that, applied to any
specific set of attributed beliefs, skepticism is not a
relevant possibility: indeed, it is in this respect rather
similar to Moore's paradox (i.e., ''it is raining, but I
don't believe that it is raining''). Skepticism would not
thereby be refuted, but it could be neglected.

The third paper, ''When Swampman get arthritis:
''Externalism'' in Burge and Davidson'', authored by Martin
Hahn, compares the two varieties of externalism advocated
by Burge and Davidson. Davidson distinguishes between
physical and social versions of externalism, considering
the first kind to be ''perceptual externalism''. This is
where Burge and Davidson are mostly taken to agree though
there is also a major point of agreement on social
externalism, regarding the necessity of being in touch with
other people with substantially similar innate perceptual
and conceptual abilities. They also both claim that first-
person authority is compatible with externalism. The main
difference is in the dependence of content on social
circumstances. Davidson's view on the matter is based on
the triangulation argument, which derives from the thesis
of radical interpretation, according to which meaning and
content are assigned to others' thoughts and utterances on
the basis of what we perceive of their environment and
their perceptual relations with objects in that
environment. This makes our thoughts conditional to living
with creatures similar to us in the relevant ways. By
contrast, Burge rejects radical interpretation and favors
the moderate view that ''we can stand corrected in our own
idiolectal usage'' (39). Regarding physical externalism,
despite the similarities noted above, Burge's and
Davidson's outlooks are also different in that, to go back
to Twin Earth examples, Davidson would be inclined to
consider the psychological states of the twins are
identical or not depending on whether the chemistry on the
two planets is sensitive to the difference between water
and Twin water, while Burge would not take this last point
into account. What's more, Davidson rejects the notion that
having a concept does not entail having a complete mastery
of it, a notion central to Burge's philosophy. The
conclusion is that, despite common belief, Burge and
Davidson turn out to agree more on social anti-
individualism than they do on physical anti-externalism.

Donnellan turns to ''Burge's thought experiments'', outlining
the difference between Burge's versions and Putnam's. Where
Putnam relies on physical differences between Earth and
Twin-Earth, Burge concentrate on differences in the
linguistic communities. Both types of thought-experiments
rely on experts, but Putnam's experts are experts about the
physical world, while Burge's are those members of the
speech community who can be expected to know the meaning of
the words. Putnam's thought experiments highlight a very
general semantic rule, which is not the case for Burge's.
Finally, Putnam's invoke a deep indexical character, and
again this is not the case in Burge. Donnellan takes up
this last point, criticizing Putnam's original account for
saying that natural kind terms have an indexical element,
pointing out that this is incorrect on any reasonable
account of indexicals. Rather the indexicality is to be
found in the semantic rule for applying natural kind terms,
through a reference to local paradigms. The relevant
properties would be external but the semantic rule
directing the speakers to them would be internal and common
between Earthian and Twin-Earthians. As Donnellan points
out, ''if all of this is correct, Putnam thought experiments
(~E) cannot be used for an anti-individualist point'' (63).
What's more the indexicality is important in that it is the
basis on which Putnam's experiments can be generated. This
is a major difference with Burge thought experiments where
it is not clear that a semantic rule is necessary, because
what is at issue is incomplete mastery. What is more, the
principle of division of linguistic labor, advocated by
Putnam, and which might be a common ground with Burge, is
not dependent on Putnam's experiments. This leads Donnellan
to suggest that in Burge's arthritis example, both patients
have beliefs with the same content, the external
circumstances determining not content but truth-values,
which differ.

The next paper, by Joseph Owens, returns to indexicality
(''Anti-individualism, indexicality and character''). The
author examines the view that ''the individualistic
character of the mental [can be] retained once we realize
that the concepts [the twins] use in expressing their
beliefs have an indexical element'' (77). His conclusion is
that this line of defense is inappropriate. The idea behind
the indexical view is that ''the problematic thought
contents contain an indexical element'' (79). Its popularity
has to do with Kaplan's theory of indexicals and, more
specifically, with the notion of character, i.e., the
constant linguistic meaning of a given indexical, later
generalized to linguistic items in general. Thus, the twins
agree on the characters and are in the same psychological
state (identical cognitive content), even though their
sentences do not express the same proposition. Though
appealing, the solution does not work for an obvious
reason: the stability of the character is irrelevant to the
twins situation because they do not speak the same
language. What is more, ''character itself does not
supervene on nonintentionally individuated states'' (88;
italics in the original). This is because ''the intuitions
that gave rise to anti-individualistic model of the mental
also support an anti-individualistic reading of character''
(94). Thus Burge is vindicated.

The next and sixth chapter, ''Competence with
demonstratives'' is one of the two by a linguist, James
Higginbotham, and one of the few in the book that relates
to another aspect of Burge's philosophy, in this instance
his (earlier) contributions to philosophy of language. The
paper defends the view that it is impossible to preserve
both reference and perspective in belief or speech reports.
This is especially true of the first-person, though also
true for unarticulated components, in, e.g., incomplete
definite descriptions or quantificational noun phrases.
Higginbotham turns to Burge's account of the place of
demonstratives in theories of truth for natural languages.
This had two features, truth-at-an-index, and the use of a
bound variable in the statement of truth-conditions. The
first one correspond to a rule of use, characteristic of
both demonstratives and indexicals, and the second to the
fact that this rule of use is not part of the truth-
conditions. This has the consequence that though the
perspective can be conveyed, it cannot be said, on pain of
loosing referential faithfulness.

Christopher Peacocke, in the seventh paper, ''Implicit
conceptions, understanding and rationality'', turns, as does
Higginbotham, on Burge's early work in philosophy of
language, specifically on Burge's reading of Frege on
sense. The paper concentrates on primitive concepts, i.e.,
concepts which cannot be accessed through inference, but
which are nonetheless rational. Peacocke's example is
logical connectives, where a capacity to exercise
simulation is present before any explicit rules are
acquired, and, indeed, is the basis for the acceptance of
such rules. This capacity is based on an implicit
conception of the connectives. This is similar to the
Fregean distinction between grasping a concept (possibly
implicitly) and grasping a concept sharply (explicitly).
The benefits involved in passing from an implicit to an
explicit conception (which is not a simple endeavor)
include generality, establishing clear limits and
justification. The notion of implicit conception cannot be
accommodated in conceptual role theories because they fail
to explain how new principles can be arrived at. Implicit
conceptions, which can be acquired as well as innate, may
enter content-involving psychological explanations, for
instance of categorical judgments. Finally, they are the
basis of rational justifications for many inferences.

The next paper, by Fred Drestke, returns to Burge's anti-
individualism and is entitled ''Burge on mentalistic
explanations, or why I am still epiphobic''. It begins by
mentioning the numerous points of agreement between the
author and Burge, on realism about psychological content,
semantic externalism and the non-epiphenomenalism of
psychological content. The difference is that Drestke
thinks that epiphenomenalism is a potential (though
surmontable) problem for semantic externalism, while Burge
does not even think that it is a problem. In Dretske's
words, ''I can be puzzled about [how things can work that
way], while conceding that things do work that way'' (154).
The problem arises mainly for behavior that is not
externally individuated, for example behavior that is
described at the basic level of motion, regardless of the
objects of the specific motion involved. This is a level at
which externally individuated beliefs are dispensable in
the explanation of the behavior. Here, Dretske introduces
the example of the vending machine, which dispenses Cokes
in exchange for quarters. Though it is designed to work
with quarters, it would work just as well with any piece of
metal relevantly similar to quarters. In other words, it is
the intrinsic properties of quarters (those to which the
machine positively answers), which enter in any lawlike
explanation of the machine behavior, not their extrinsic
properties (being quarters). Thus, these extrinsic
properties are epiphenomenal to the delivery of Cokes.
Mutatis mutandis, the same applies to mind-body interaction
and epiphenomenalism, no matter how much one may reject it,
has to be taken seriously and must be answered.

Ned Block takes the debate to the problem of consciousness
in the next paper, ''Mental paint''. A recent question is
whether qualia (the qualitative properties of conscious
experience) are exhausted by their representational content
or not. Block defends the negative answer, a position that
he dubs ''phenomenism''. He shortly present and criticizes a
version of functionalist internalist representationism
before turning to externalist representationism, which he
defends in part. He then points out that if qualia
supervene on the brain, representationism is refuted.
Representationism has often argued from the supposed
diaphanousness of perception, which is correct for
attention though not for awareness. There are however
deeper questions: the very existence of ''mental paint'' (the
irreducible qualia), whether this is or not accessible to
introspection; the existence of qualia with no
representational content. This leads Block to a triple
distinction between the intentional content of an
experience, the mental properties (mental paint) of such an
experience, and the mental properties of non-
representational experiences (e.g., orgasms). He concludes
his paper by a discussion of various thought experiments,
among them the Inverted Earth (identical to Earth but for
the inversion of colors: e.g.,the sky is yellow there).

Bernard Kobes, in ''Mental content and hot self-knowledge''
returns to the problem of first-person authority,
approaching it in an orginal way: he defends the idea that
self-attribution of thoughts is not passive but active ~W it
has a certain performative character ~W and that the thinker
has knowledge of his performances. He takes on board quite
a few of the theoretical notions defined in speech acts
theory such as the distinction between mental content
(propositional content) and mental relation (illocutionary
force), as well as the distinction between two directions
of fit, here mind-to-world vs. world-to-mind. The first
(thetic) is typical of belief while the second is typical
of intention and desire (telic). He reminds the reader of
the supposed antagonism between first-person authority and
an externalist semantics as well as of the solution
proposed by Burge, to wit that the higher-order (self-
attributive) thought shares its mental content with the
lower order one. However, some criticisms have been leveled
against this solution, first for thoughts relative to
historical characters and events (''Socrates drank some
hemlock''), where externalism is not entirely obvious, as
well as memory of past thought episodes. Thus the
extendibility of the solution is not obvious. Kobes,
through the notion of the thinker as a cognitive agent,
tries to answer these doubts. His solution is to treat the
relation of the thinker to his/her self-attribution as
telic, which gives him/her authoritative self-knowledge.

Brian Loar returns to the subject, partly treated by
Higginbotham and Block, of ''Phenomenal intentionality as
the basis of mental content''. He remarks that grasping
other people's thoughts is not a mere matter of impersonal
representation, but that it involves taking the same
intentional perspective. This, if ''conceivings are in the
head'' (229), and if intentionality is essential to them,
seems to lead to the idea that intentionality is in the
head, in opposition to externalist claims. This is not
reflected in ''that'' clauses, no matter how ''oblique'' they
are. Loar defends the notion that this is because mental
content is phenomenal and is conveyed ''in the gaps between
the words'' (230). On that view, ''the internal
intentionality of perceptions and thoughts consists in
their apparent directness, in their purporting subjectively
to refer in various complex ways'' (231). The main thesis of
the paper is that though externalists are right about
reference and truth-conditions of thought, intentionality
still is internal. The explanation for that apparent
contradiction is that, contrary to externalist theses,
''intentionality does not presuppose reference and is not
externally determined'' (231).

This leads us to the last chapter of the comments part of
the book, ''Internalist explorations'', by Noam Chomsky.
Chomsky begins by defining a Humean ''science of human
nature'' as ''individualist and internalist'' (259), rejecting
theories based on the commonsensical meaning of words like
''thought'' and ''belief'' in favor of theories based on the
technical meaning of such words, that, according to him,
can only be internalist. He illustrates his point by appeal
to linguistics, and more precisely to the study of the
language faculty, which is divorced from commonsensical and
intuitive notions and based on the concept of I-language
where I stands for ''internal and individual, and also
intentional'' (263). He rejects Twin Earth and Swampman
thought experiments on two grounds: judgements elicited in
such a way are unclear and thus unreliable; folk semantics
has nothing to bring to the scientific study of the
language faculty.

The second part of the book, ''Tyler Burge replies'', opens
with ''Descartes and anti-individualism: Reply to Normore''.
Burge begins his paper by recognizing a mistake in his
interpretation of Descartes as an individualist, though he
insists that the interpretation of Descartes is complex
regarding his individualist or anti-individualist position.
Some of Descartes' positions are consistent with anti-
individualism but do not entail it. The main problem is to
do with Cartesian dualism (presupposing the metaphysical
independence of the mental), which seems, on the face of
it, contradictory with anti-individualism. If Descartes is
not an individualist, then he ''must reconcile these views
by holding that mental states and events that are about
body are not essential to any given mind, or to being a
mind'' (293), which, again, seems consistent with some
Cartesian views. This leads to a new construal of Cartesian
dualism, according to which ''some particular thoughts (~E)
are necessarily dependent on physical properties'' (294).
Then, the analysis of the cogito would be that ''the
reflexive self-consciousness involved in the continuing I
think is filled out by particular thoughts, which are
themselves contingent modes of the mind'' (298). Burge then
turns to his argument for perceptual anti-individualism in
the paper that Normore comments, recognizing an error of
presentation regarding the relation between the local
failure of supervenience of intentional on physical states
and anti-individualism. Such a failure is neither necessary
for, nor identical with, anti-individualism. Finally Burge
precises his anti-individualist view of perception and
discusses Descartes' purported letter to him.

The next chapter, ''Some reflections on scepticism: Reply to
Stroud'', begins by the reminder that ''some veridicality is
implicit in the relevant conception of normality, but not
in a way that guarantees that an individual has any
veridical perceptions at all'' (335). He criticizes the
coherence view of Davidson, noting that most perceptual
beliefs are not inferentially or derivately warranted. This
leads him to scepticism and anti-individualism: ''Scepticism
is about knowledge or justification. Neither anti-
individualism nor the slogan that error presupposes
veridicality says a word about knowledge or justification''
(338). Thus anti-individualism is not an answer to
scepticism, though it can be a component to such an answer.

Chapter 15, ''Davidson and forms of anti-individualism:
Reply to Hahn'', opens with remarks about the relation
between Burge's position on de re thoughts (they are
necessary for having propositional attitudes, including de
dicto thoughts and they are incompletly conceptualized) and
his anti-individualist position (which concerns both de re
and de dicto attitudes) in the paper that Hahn comments.
Burge then remarks that anti-individualism is not limited
to the individuation of concepts but rather to that of
mental states and thus is compatible with various views
about concepts. What is more anti-individualism is
committed both to the notion ''that the individuation
presupposes a background of referential success [and] that
attitudes are in part individuated in terms of
nonintentional relations (~E) that the individual bears to
objects, properties, or relations in the environment''
(351). This does not reject internal (e.g., inferential)
relations about attitudes. Burge then turns to Hahn's
comparison between him and Davidson and admits that he
rejects interpretationism. He briefly discusses Swampman
and turns to the issue of anti-individualism and inateness,
noting that his position is metaphysically compatible with
innateness. He then turns to his own brand of social
externalism, insisting that on his view, the patients in
the arthritis thought experiment have different concepts
(because of their respective linguistic communities) and
hence different beliefs.

''The thought experiments: Reply to Donnellan'' begins by a
comparison between Burge's arthritis and Putnam's Twin
Earth thought experiments, noting that the main similarity
is that both types of experiments rest ''on the fact that we
are not omniscient and the fact that there is possible
slack between what we know descriptively about the
referents, or correct applications, of our concepts and
what their referents are'' (363). Burge then discusses the
four differences highlighted by Donnellan between his and
Putnam's experiments, concentrating on the last one, the
place of indexicality, which he thinks is misleading. He
questions the indexical semantic rule proposed by
Donnellan, insisting that, as the psychological states of
the twins are not identical, it is just not necessary for
it to be indexical and the rule itself is neither necessary
nor plausible. More generally, Burge rejects the use of
such metalinguistic rules to account for incomplete mastery
of concepts.

''The indexical strategy: Reply to Owens'' is short given a
general agreement between Burge and Owens on the subject.
Thus Burge limits himself to a few qualifications to Owens'
paper and to a discussion of a thought experiment proposed
by Owens.

The eighteenth chapter ''Tracking perspective: Reply to
Higginbotham'' concerns one of the two contributions by
linguists to the book. Although Burge expresses his
sympathy with most of Higginbotham's paper, he disagrees on
the idea that preserving reference implies losing the
perspective of others in indirect discourse. His argument
rests on the difference between the rule for contextual
reference for a given indexical and the meaning of that
indexical, thus rejecting Higginbotham's division of the
lexicon in the two classes of items with meanings and items
with rules of use. Burge concludes that ''a satisfying
investigation of language must sometimes go beyond the
bounds of linguistic meaning, or linguistic understanding,
conservatively construed'' (382).

The next chapter, ''Concepts, conceptions, reflective
understanding: Reply to Peacocke'', begins by an
acknowledgment that reflective acceptance of conceptual
truths and the application of incompletely understood
concepts may be accounted for in mentalistic terms through
the notion of implicit conceptions. Burge nevertheless
tries to precise the notion of implicitness used by
Peacocke, proposing that ''implicit conceptions are
unconscious psychological conceptual structures that
explain our ability to apply concepts to cases, or to
realize that principles involving concepts are true'' (383),
proposing that such implicit conceptions might be neurally
represented in a syntactic way, though this still leaves it
open whether such conceptions are subpersonal or personal.
His doubts concern whether implicit conceptions can be as
widely used as Peacocke seems prepared to allow. In
addition, implicit conceptions could themselves be
incomplete, which leads to a futher application of anti-
individualism. The paper ends with a (slightly critical)
discussion of Peacocke's interpretation of Leibniz and
Frege and a defense of rationalism about truths.

Chapter 20, ''Epiphenomenalism: Reply to Dretske'', opens
with a statement to the effect that there is indeed a
disagreement about epiphenomenalism, which concerns both
its being a threat and the method for its rejection. Though
Burge claims that he is interested in the mind-body
problem, he owns to a negative attitude regarding
epiphenomenalism as a serious notion and about materialist
metaphysics. Returning to epiphenomenalism and anti-
individualism, he notes that though some relational
properties are causally irrelevant, not all relational
properties are and that, similarly, though some higher-
level properties are causally irrelevant, not all higher-
order properties are. Burge localizes Dretske's worry about
epiphenomenalism in a confusion between mental events as
individuated through their contents and the relational
facts that underlie those contents. If the confusion is led
to rest, it takes care of the worry about epiphenomenalism.
The paper ends with a rejection of materialism regarding
mental events.

In the next chapter, ''Qualia and intentional content:Reply
to Block'', Burge argues, mainly in accordance with Block's
view, that having color concepts partly depends on ''bearing
relations to the colors in a broader environment'' (405) and
agrees ''that there are non representational qualitative
mental properties'' (405). This is, again in agreement with
Block, against the representationalist views of sensations.
Burge then turns to Block's discussion of Inverted Earth,
outlining the importance of evolution in color perception.
Thus, on Inverted Earth, ''representational content changes
without any corresponding change in phenomenal character''
(411). However, ''the perceptual intentional content (~E)
will commonly be in some way, at some level, different, if
phenomenal character is different'' (412). Burge then turns
to Block's remark that phenomenal character may vary among
normal humans. Burge defends the notion that this variation
is consigned not to global identification of color, but
rather ''to a narrowly discriminated and quickly forgotten
shade'' (413), and is thus irrelevant for intersubjective
color typing.

Burge then returns to authoritative self-knowledge in
''Mental agency in authoritative self-knowledge: Reply to
Kobes''. He is in global agreement with Kobes, notably on
the point that ''some performative knowledge of one's
propositional attitudes is partly constitutive of being a
critically rational agent'' (417). Burge notes that
knowledge about one's own actions does not have the same
roots depending on whether it concerns physical or mental
actions. Knowledge of physical action is subject to brute
contingencies and hence to brute error, which is not the
case for knowledge of one's own mental states. Burge then
introduces a distinction between performative self-
knowledge which is logically self-verifying (e.g., I am
hereby entertaining the thought that writing requires
concentration) and which corresponds to pure cogito cases
and performative self-knowledge that is not (e.g. I am
hereby thinking (in the sense of comitting myself to the
view) that writing requires concentration), or impure
cogito cases, of which, however, Burge remarks that they
are abnormal if not pathological. He then notes that
performative self-knowledge involves a reflexive element:
''there is (~E) a reflexive second-order element in the
logical form of the first-order thoughts'' (419). However,
Burge considers that ''the formation of a great number of
beliefs, particularly perceptual beliefs, is not strictly
an activity'' (419) and that the performative model thus
cannot fully explain first-person authority. ''Performative
and reflexive cases are such that the intentional content
that they attribute is thought and thought about at the
same time. So the content of the attributed bottom-level
attitude and the content attributed in the self-
attributional thought are locked together'' (426). This
means that in slow-switching Twin Earth cases both contents
will come apart at the intentional level. In non-reflexive
cases, memory will ''preserve the content between different
attitudinal states over time'' (431).

''Phenomenality and reference: Reply to Loar'' opens with the
acknowledgement of a fundamental difference, given that
Loar defends an internalist view, but expresses a doubt as
to the reasons why Loar thinks an internalist view
necessary. According to Burge, an internalist view is not
necessary to fight materialism: indeed the view that a
conceiving's intentional properties are essential to it,
even combined with anti-individualism defeats, at most,
type and token identity materialism. Anyway, ''spatial
location is not the central issue'' (435). Burge then turns
to opaque contexts and insists that ''differences in oblique
occurrences in true propositional attitude attributions
prima facie signal differences in mental content'' (438).
What is more, intentional states may lack referents: this
fact does not contradict anti-individualism, and neither do
brain-in-the-vat thought experiments or any other cases of

The final chapter, ''Psychology and the environment: Reply
to Chomsky'', opens with a commendation of Chomsky's work
and a defense of it against frequent philosophical
objections. It begins with the points of agreement, i.e.,
the rejection of eliminativism about mental kinds, the
distinction between scientific and commonsensical
psychological notions, the inaccessibility to consciousness
of many linguistic and psychological structures, the
frequent innateness of linguistic and psychological
abilities, the notion that the holism of meaning is no
barrier to its scientific study. Burge then turns to the
differences, notably in terms of internalism or
individualism, though he notes that the notion of
internalism defended by Chomsky is not well-defined enough
to allow precise discussion. He notes that the notion of I-
language is not incompatible with anti-individualism (which
''does not presuppose the existence of public languages''
(453)). What is more, ''internalism or individualism (~E) is
not simply a claim that psychology studies the internal
states of individuals'' (453). Burge also considers
Chomsky's skepticism about intuitions in thought
experiments an overreaction. He then turns to the part of
Chomsky's article where the author tries to justify his
internalist position (where ''internalism'' is interpreted as
meaning that no cognitive mechanism can be investigated as
related to anything external) by appeal to various
scientific theories, notably Marr's theory of vision and
notes that Chomsky does not give an adequate discussion of
Marr's work, in which the ''main objective is explicitly
stated to be that of explaining how we visually determine
the properties of actual objects in physical space that we
in fact visually represent as they are'' (464). Thus,
semantic theories can be both internal in Chomsky's sense
and anti-individualist in Burge's.

In ''The voyage out'', Virginia Woolf has one of her
characters reminisce about his Cambridge youth and the
philosophical discussions he then had with his fellow
students, making him say ''It's the arguing that counts''. So
it was then, at the end of the 19th and beginning of the
20th century at Cambridge when Georges Moore and Bertrand
Russell were the philosophers in residence and so it is now
in analytic philosophy. Yet, it would be very short-sighted
of linguists to dismiss analytical philosophy as mere hair-
cutting, and this is especially true of the questions
raised by Burge's work. The issue of anti-individualism is
relevant at most levels in linguistics (though maybe not in
phonology), the more obvious being semantics and
pragmatics. Parts of the debate in the present book are
deeply relevant to issues in contemporary pragmatics, such
as for instance the appropriate conclusion to draw from
Burge's arthritis thought experiment, as well as the
chapters outlining the difference between Burge's and
Davidson's views of social anti-individualism. One such
issue may be the Gricean notion of non-natural meaning and
the way one could or not link it to those two versions of
social anti-individualism. Another issue, on the semantic
side, would be the degree of agreement and the points of
disagreement between different semantic approaches (e.g.,
model-theoretical versus situation semantics) and the
specific brand of anti-individualism that has been defended
by Burge. There is no space here to go into details and I
will not attempt to do so, but all of these questions
should be taken into account and thought about seriously by
linguists. Thus, it is a book well worth reading for any
audience interested in semantics and pragmatics, as well as
cognitive science more broadly. Though densely packed and
complex in some places, this book is in general very clear
and highly rewards reading efforts.

Burge, T. (1979), ''Individualism and the mental'', in
Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4, 73-121.

Putnam, H. (1975) ''The meaning of 'meaning''', in Mind,
Language and Reality. Philosophical Papers, vol. 2,
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 215-271.
Anne Reboul is a First Class Research Fellow at the French
Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). She has a Ph.D.
in Linguistics (EHESS, Paris) and a Ph.D. in philosophy
(University of Geneva, Switzerland). She has written
some books, among which an Encyclopaedic Dictionary
of Pragmatics and quite a few papers in French and English,
on pragmatics and/or philosophic subjects.