Semantic externalism

Jesper Kallestrup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

4 Citations (Scopus)


Semantic externalism is the view that the meanings of referring terms, andthe contents of beliefs that are expressed by those terms, are not fully determined by factors internal to the speaker but are instead bound up with the environment.The debate about semantic externalism is one of the most important butdifficult topics in philosophy of mind and language, and has consequences forour understanding of the role of social institutions and the physical environment in constituting language and the mind. In this long-needed book, JesperKallestrup provides an invaluable map of the problem. Beginning with athorough introduction to the theories of descriptivism and referentialism and the work of Frege and Kripke, Kallestrup moves on to analyse Putnam’sTwin Earth argument, Burge’s arthritis argument and Davidson’s Swampman argument. He also discusses how semantic externalism is at the heartof important topics such as indexical thoughts, epistemological scepticism,self-knowledge, and mental causation.Including chapter summaries, a glossary of terms, and an annotated guideto further reading, Semantic Externalism is an ideal guide for students studyingphilosophy of language and philosophy of mind. 
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages272
ISBN (Electronic)9780203830024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


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