By Richard Gaskin

ISBN-10: 0199287252

ISBN-13: 9780199287253

ISBN-10: 1435622901

ISBN-13: 9781435622906

John McDowell's "minimal empiricism" is among the such a lot influential and greatly mentioned doctrines in modern philosophy. Richard Gaskin matters it to cautious exam and feedback, arguing that it has unacceptable outcomes, and specifically that it mistakenly ideas out whatever we know to be the case: that babies and non-human animals event an international. Gaskin lines the blunders in McDowell's empiricism to their resource, and provides his personal, nonetheless extra minimum, model of empiricism, suggesting right philosophy of language calls for us to acknowledge a feeling during which the realm we adventure speaks its personal language.

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Extra resources for Experience and the World's Own Language: A Critique of John McDowell's Empiricism

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178)37 But this merely negative elucidation of the notion of space-of-reasons causation cannot be regarded as satisfactory. There are two species of causation in play—realm-of-law causation and space-of-reasons causation—and we have seen that, if McDowell is to avoid an unattractive Anomalous Monism which threatens his position (and to which indeed, in at least one unguarded moment, he appears to succumb), he must insist that the causal relation between world and experience, in virtue of which experience enjoys an exogenous constraint on its content, is a space-of-reasons phenomenon and not a realm-of-law one.

Is it not the fate of this experience, on McDowell’s approach, to occupy both logical spaces? And then, since occupancy of a logical space is at least partly constitutive of a thing, will we not have the untoward upshot that the experience that p is constituted both by its occupancy of the logical space of reasons and by its occupancy of the opposing logical space, the realm of law? This question is rendered the more pressing by the observation that, though McDowell appears to be still oYcially hostile to Anomalous Monism in Mind and World, there is a signiWcant passage in that work where he seems to commit himself to just that doctrine.

11 So the objector. 8 2000a, p. 9. 9 One naturally recalls Plato’s use of this image in the Theaetetus, at 191c8–e1. But there the image has a quite restricted application: it is invoked to solve a puzzle about false belief, and impressions on the wax tablet of the mind are speciWcally memory images. : 1973, pp. 209–10. (The image as applied to experience does capture the epistemological position of the Stoic Cleanthes, though it was rejected by Chrysippus: Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Mathematicos 7,227–9 (1983, p.

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Experience and the World's Own Language: A Critique of John McDowell's Empiricism by Richard Gaskin


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