E Pluribus Unum: Arguments against Conceptual Schemes and Empirical Content

Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):411-438 (2004)
The idea that there are conceptual schemes, relative to which we conceptualize experience, and empirical content, the “raw” data of experience that get conceptualized through our conceptual schemes into beliefs or sentences, is not new. The idea that there are neither conceptual schemes nor empirical content, however, is. Moreover, it is so new, that only four arguments have so far been given against this dualism, with Donald Davidson himself presenting versions of all four. In this paper, I show that in both the general and Davidson’s specific form the first three arguments against scheme-content dualism rely on the fourth. From many there is just one. Then I show that the fate of the first three arguments against scheme-content dualism hangs on that of the fourth. Finally I present four reasons why the fourth argument fails. For the sake of the dualism’s detractors, therefore, one can only hope that forthcoming arguments against scheme-content dualism fare better than those given so far.
Keywords Davidson, Donald  Kant, Immanuel  conceptual scheme  empirical content  scheme/content dualism  incommensurability  Kuhn, Thomas
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DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2004.tb01001.x
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References found in this work BETA
John McDowell (1994). Mind and World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Nathaniel Jason Goldberg (2009). Historicism, Entrenchment, and Conventionalism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):259 - 276.
Nathaniel Goldberg (2011). Interpreting Thomas Kuhn as a Response-Dependence Theorist. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):729 - 752.

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