Conceptualism and the new myth of the given

Synthese 175 (1):101-122 (2010)
The motivation for McDowell’s conceptualism is an epistemological consideration. McDowell believes conceptualism would guarantee experience a justificatory role in our belief system and we can then avoid the Myth of the Given without falling into coherentism. Conceptualism thus claims an epistemological advantage over nonconceptualism. The epistemological advantage of conceptualism is not to be denied. But both Sellars and McDowell insist experience is not belief. This makes it impossible for experience to justify empirical knowledge, for the simple reason that what is not a belief cannot justify a belief. Nondoxastic experience, though conceptual, is still a Given. And what conceptualism gives us can only be a New Myth of the Given
Keywords Conceptualism  Nondoxasticism  The propositional criterion of justification  The doxastic criterion of justification  Two senses of the Given  The New Myth of the Given
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John McDowell (1994). Mind and World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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