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

By Richard Gaskin

John McDowell's "minimal empiricism" is without doubt one of the such a lot influential and generally mentioned doctrines in modern philosophy. Richard Gaskin matters it to cautious exam and feedback, arguing that it has unacceptable effects, and specifically that it mistakenly principles out anything we know to be the case: that babies and non-human animals adventure a global. Gaskin strains the mistakes in McDowell's empiricism to their resource, and offers his personal, nonetheless extra minimum, model of empiricism, suggesting right philosophy of language calls for us to acknowledge a feeling within which the area we event speaks its personal language.

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

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87, 89; 1998a, pp. 366–7, 407. 34 Larmore too lodges a complaint on this score, at 2002, p. 205. McDowell responds: ‘[O]f course, ‘‘Reasons can be causes’’ is only a slogan. The thought it sloganizes would be more accurately expressed by saying that someone’s having a reason can be causally relevant, for instance to their acting or to their forming a belief ’ (2002a, p. 296). But the formulation which McDowell here substitutes for the slogan, more accurate or not, can hardly be said to be elucidatory.

78–82, 86–7, 161–2, 173. 2 (1978, p. 216). That is, for Hume perception is exclusively a realm-of-law phenomenon. 40 On this point cf. Strawson 1966, p. 52; 1979, pp. 51–2. 41 Cf. McDowell 1998b, p. 302, where ‘mere causation’, which is (unhappily, as I explain below) one of McDowell’s ways of talking about realm-of-law causation, is said to be an external relation. g. 1998c, pp. 388–9, where experiences are held to have the facts of which they are the Experience and causation 33 the perception in purely general terms, so that having the relevant perception no longer entails the existence of the state of aVairs which gives rise to it.

Or is a sense of philosophical puzzlement assuaged by simply adverting to facts of usage? What if that usage embodies an equivocation? 57 In permitting or recognizing the materials of second nature to be ‘natural’, we ‘overcome’ the dualism of reason and nature, but the victory is a pyrrhic one, for we are left with a distinction which is the same, in substance, as the one we started with, only now relabelled a distinction between reason and law. And what we are left with is more than a distinction: it is a dualism in the philosophically loaded sense.

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