Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Andrea Scarantino

Second Advisor

Neil Van Leeuwen

Third Advisor

Daniel Weiskopf


It is widely believed that we have immediate, introspective access to the content of our own thoughts. This access is assumed to be privileged in a way that our access to the thought content of others is not. It is also widely believed that, in many cases, thought content is individuated according to properties that are external to the thinker's head. I will refer to these theses as privileged access and content externalism, respectively. Though both are widely held to be true, various arguments have been put forth to the effect that they are incompatible. This charge of incompatibilism has been met with a variety of compatibilist responses, each of which has received its own share of criticism. In this thesis, I will argue that a contrastive account of self-knowledge is a novel compatibilist response that shows significant promise.