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Organon F

Volume 27, February 2020, Issue 1, Pages 106–128

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Self-knowledge, Discriminability, and Demonstrative Thoughts

Huiyuhl Yi



According to content externalism, the content of our thought is partly determined by the linguistic environment responsible for it. However, there is growing skepticism about the compatibility of content externalism and self-knowledge. The skeptical position holds that, if content externalism is true, then we cannot know our own thought content because we would not be able to discriminate it from relevant alternative thought contents. This argument rests on the proposition that knowledge requires some type of discriminability. In this paper, I argue that this requirement does not apply to a particular type of demonstrative thoughts, more specifically, that in a typical case where we demonstratively denote an object without taking it as anything, in particular, our second-order judgment about our own thinking, whose content includes this use of a demonstrative, constitutes knowledge without due discriminability.


Content externalism; demonstrative thought; discriminability; indefinite use of demonstratives; self-knowledge.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Huiyuhl Yi


Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology


Division of General Studies, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, 50 Unist-Gil, Ulju-gun, Ulsan, Republic of Korea



About this article


18 March 2019


30 August 2019

Published online

14 September 2019


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Yi, H. (2020). Self-knowledge, Discriminability, and Demonstrative Thoughts. Organon F27(1), 106–128. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2020.27105


Yi, Huiyuhl. 2020. "Self-knowledge, Discriminability, and Demonstrative Thoughts." Organon F 27 (1): 106–128. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2020.27105


Yi, H. (2020). Self-knowledge, Discriminability, and Demonstrative Thoughts. Organon F, 27(1), pp. 106–128. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2020.27105

Copyright information

© Huiyuhl Yi

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