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University of Stirling



McDowell and Idealism

Haddock A (2008) McDowell and Idealism. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 51 (1), pp. 79-96.

John McDowell espouses a certain conception of the thinking subject: as a living, embodied, finite being, with a capacity for experience that can take in the world, and stand in relations of warrant to subjects’ beliefs. McDowell presents this conception of the subject as requiring a related conception of the world: as not located outside the conceptual sphere. In this latter conception, idealism and common-sense realism are supposed to coincide. But I suggest that McDowell’s conception of the subject scuppers this intended coincidence. The upshot is a dilemma: McDowell can retain his conception of the subject, but lose the coincidence; or he can keep the coincidence, but abandon his conception of the subject.

; Knowledge, Theory of; Act (Philosophy); McDowell, John, 1870-1937.

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy: Volume 51, Issue 1

Author(s)Haddock, Adrian
Publication date29/02/2008
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
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