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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
McDowell, John Henry.
Mind and world.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1994
|Material Type:||Internet resource|
|Document Type:||Book, Internet Resource|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
John Henry McDowell
|Description:||x, 191 pages ; 25 cm|
|Contents:||I. Concepts and Intuitions --
II. The Unboundedness of the Conceptual --
III. Non-conceptual Content --
IV. Reason and Nature --
V. Action, Meaning, and the Self --
VI. Rational and Other Animals --
Davidson in Context.
John McDowell amply illustrates a major problem of modern philosophy - the insidious persistence of dualism - in his discussion of empirical thought. Much as we would like to conceive empirical thought as rationally grounded in experience, pitfalls await anyone who tries to articulate this position, and McDowell exposes these, traps by exploiting the work of contemporary philosophers from Wilfrid Sellars to Donald Davidson. These difficulties, he contends, reflect an understandable - but surmountable - failure to see how we might integrate what Sellars calls "the logical space of reasons" into the natural world. What underlies this impasse is a conception of nature that has certain attractions for the modern age, a conception that McDowell proposes to put aside, thus circumventing these philosophical difficulties.
By returning to a pre-modern conception of nature but retaining the intellectual advance of modernity that has mistakenly been viewed as dislodging it, he makes room for a fully satisfying conception of experience as a rational openness to independent reality. This approach also overcomes other obstacles that impede a generally satisfying understanding of how we are placed in the world.