McDowell and idealism

Inquiry 51 (1):79 – 96 (2008)
Abstract
John McDowell espouses a certain conception of the thinking subject: as an embodied, living, 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.
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