Transparent Contents and Trivial Inferences


A possible way out to Kripke’s Puzzle About Belief could start from the rejection of the notion of epistemic transparency. Epistemic transparency seems, indeed, irremediably incompatible with an externalist conception of mental content. However, Brandom’s inferentialism could be considered a version of externalism that allows, at least in some cases, to save the principle of transparency. Appealing to a normative account of the content of our beliefs, from the inferentialist’s standpoint, it is possible to state that a content is transparent when name-components of that content are a priori associated with some application conditions and, at the same time, reflection alone provides an a priori access to those application conditions, with no need of any empirical investigation. Nevertheless, such requirements are only met in trivial cases. The aim of this paper is to argue that some application conditions of that sort, albeit trivial, can be ontologically ampliative. As a result, the related contents can be regarded as transparent in a substantial and rich way.

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