Minimal empiricism without dogmas

Philosophia 35 (2):197-206 (2007)
John McDowell has defended a position called minimal empiricism, that aims to avoid the oscillation between traditional empiricism’s commitment to a set of contents working as external justifiers for our system of beliefs and a coherentist position where our thought receives no constraint from the world. We share McDowell’s dissatisfaction with both options, but find his minimal empiricism committed to the idea of a tribunal of experience where isolated contents are infused into our network of inferences. This commitment is prone to sceptical attacks and waters down McDowell’s holism. We propose to retain McDowell’s partial re-enchantment of nature—without appealing to McDowell’s Kantian conception of experience—, and argue that it is sufficient to avoid the oscillation and to make sense of the objectivity of thought.
Keywords Empiricism  Scepticism  Holism  Objectivity  Thought
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-007-9061-0
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References found in this work BETA
John McDowell (1994). Mind and World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Donald Davidson (1963). Actions, Reasons, and Causes. Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685-700.

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Marie McGinn (2009). McDowell's Minimal Empiricism. Philosophical Topics 37 (1):77-94.

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