Duplicating Thoughts


Kirk Ludwig





(i) Would a duplicate of me have the same thoughts I do?  (ii) Would it speak my language?  (iii) Would it have any thoughts, or (iv) speak any language at all?  I give a taxonomy of views on content determination, classify arguments for externalism, and argue for the following theses.  Standard semantical arguments unwarrantedly assume that if attitudes attributed using sentences for natural languages are relationally individuated, then all thoughts are individuated relationally.  In the light of this, we should conclude that questions (iii) and (iv) are empirical questions, and don’t properly fall in the domain of philosophy.  However, the answers to (i) and (ii) are ‘no’ independently of the success or failure of externalism.