Category Archives: John McDowell

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

McDowell’s “Absolute Idealism”

In “The Unboundedness of the Conceptual,” the second lecture that composes Mind and World, McDowell begins to sketch a constructive alternative to both the Myth of the Given and the frictionless-spinning of coherentism. He suggests that, “although reality is independent of our … Continue reading

Posted in Coherentism, Empiricism, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Hegel, Idealism, Immanuel Kant, John Locke, John McDowell, Wittgenstein | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

McDowell, “Mind and World” — Concepts and Intuitions

At the outset of the first lecture that composes Mind and World, McDowell writes that his “overall topic…in these lectures is the way concepts mediate the relation between minds and the world” (3). He suggests that the way to do this is … Continue reading

Posted in Coherentism, Donald Davidson, Empiricism, Immanuel Kant, John McDowell, Private Language, Wittgenstein | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment