Why Be an Anti-Individualist?
Version of Record online: 9 JUL 2008
© 2008 International Phenomenological Society
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume 77, Issue 1, pages 105–141, July 2008
How to Cite
SCHROETER, L. (2008), Why Be an Anti-Individualist?. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 77: 105–141. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2008.00178.x
- Issue online: 9 JUL 2008
- Version of Record online: 9 JUL 2008
Anti-individualists claim that concepts are individuated with an eye to purely external facts about a subject’s environment about which she may be ignorant or mistaken. This paper offers a novel reason for thinking that anti-individualistic concepts are an ineliminable part of commonsense psychology. Our commitment to anti-individualism, I argue, is ultimately grounded in a rational epistemic agent’s commitment to refining her own representational practices in the light of new and surprising information about her environment. Since anti-individualism is an implicit part of responsible epistemic practices, we cannot abandon it without compromising our own epistemic agency. The story I tell about the regulation of one’s own representational practices yields a new account of the identity conditions for anti-individualistic concepts.