Category Archives: Epistemology

Perception, Knowledge, and Being

The discussion in the Theaetetus really takes off when Theaetetus tries out his first definition of knowledge, suggesting that it’s “nothing other than perception” (οὐκ ἄλλο τί ἐστιν ἐπιστήμη ἢ αἴσθησις) (151e). Socrates immediately equates this definition with the sophist Protagoras’s claim that “Man … Continue reading

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Intension vs. Extension in the “Theatetus”

Plato’s Theaetetus really gets going when Socrates asks Theatetus to define knowledge (145e), and Theaetetus answers with a list: whatever you can learn from Theodorus (Theaetetus’s teacher), or (perhaps implicitly) another expert: disciplines such as geometry, and crafts such as cobbling. Socrates then … Continue reading

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Perception and Concepts in Brandom’s “Articulating Reasons”

From Wilfrid Sellars and from Hegel (“Sense Certainty” in the Phenomenology), Brandom suggests, we learn “that even such noninferential reports [as color perceptions] must be inferentially articulated” (48, and cf. my discussion of roughly the same point in McDowell). “Without that … Continue reading

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Brandom’s Got No Soul

Brandom, like McDowell, wants to tell “a story” in which human animals as “initially merely differentially responsive creatures can be initiated into the implicitly normative social practice of giving and asking for reasons” (26, cf. chs. 1-3 of Making It … Continue reading

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Brandom vs. the Idealists on “Causal Intermediaries”

Despite their many similarities, Brandom flags one point of disagreement with McDowell: I do not see that we need – either in epistemology or, more important, in semantics – to appeal to any intermediaries between perceptual facts and reports of … Continue reading

Posted in David Hart, Empiricism, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Idealism, John McDowell, Leibniz, Naturalism, Robert Brandom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forks in Robert Brandom’s Road

Robert Brandom opens his little book Articulating Reasons (which stands to the massive Making It Explicit roughly as Hume’s Inquiry stands to his Treatise) by observing, “This is a book about the use and content of concepts. Its animating thought is that the meanings of linguistic expressions … Continue reading

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McDowell, “Mind and World” — Reason and Nature

In “Reason and Nature,” the fourth lecture that composes Mind and World, McDowell proposes “to start uncovering the presumably deep mental block that produces this uncomfortable situation,” namely, the anxious oscillation between the Myth of the Given and a Space of … Continue reading

Posted in Aristotle, Epistemology, Human nature, John McDowell, John O'Callaghan, Language, Mind and World, Reason, Space of Reasons | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments