The second nature of human beings: An invitation for John McDowell to discuss Helmuth plessner's philosophical anthropology
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Explorations 1 (2):107 – 119 (1998)
John McDowell argues for minimal empiricism via using the notion of second nature of human beings. I should like to invite him to discuss Helmuth Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology in order to elaborate a more substantial conception of second nature. McDowell seems to think that it is adequate for his more epistemological aim to remind us of second nature as though it were to be taken for granted. But I think, following Plessner, that this right reminder needs a therapeutic elaboration in Kant's sense of propaedeutics. What had been called our second nature found itself being questioned in order to limit the range of ways of treating the self we can authorize.
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