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Abstract

According to Donald Davidson, any philosophy of mind that appeals to propositional content is doomed to become an account of the mind as a private theater. But Davidson's own work on thought-attribution can be used to make propositional content safe. This paper uses Davidson's negative reaction to Gareth Evans's works on perceptually based demonstrative thought to tease out a way of talking about propositional content that doesn't slide into subjectivism. It also explains why Davidson saw Evans as a mentalist enemy rather than an externalist ally, and suggests that Evans's work could play an important role in furthering Davidson's distinctive externalism.