David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
European Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):283-305 (1997)
This paper examines some of the central arguments of John McDowell's Mind and World, particularly his treatment of the Kantian themes of the spontaneity of thought and of the nature of self-consciousness. It is argued that in so far as McDowell departs from Kant, his position becomes less plausible in three respects. First, the space of reason is identified with the space of responsible and critical freedom in a way that runs together issues about synthesis below the level of concepts and at the level of complete judgements. This leads to the unwarranted exclusion of animal minds from the space of reasons. Second, McDowell draws no essential distinction between apperception and inner sense, a distinction which is important to a defensible Kantian view and to the very idea of a sui generis transcendental knowledge of the mind that is consistent with Kant's critical principles. McDowell does not take into account some of Kant's developed arguments about the inherently reflective nature of consciousness which is interpreted as an adverbial theory of the nature of conscious experience, a mode of being in a mental state (so neither an intrinsic nor extrinsic property of it). Third, McDowell endorses a standard treatment of Kant's approach to the mind in which a merely formal account of mind needs to be anchored outside consciousness on the physical body. The arguments for this conclusion, both in Mind and World and in related work by Bermudez and Hurley, is shown to be very inconclusive as a criticism of Kant. The capacity to self-ascribe thoughts that are already conscious shows, but does not say, a truth about the unity of our conscious experience that does not require further anchoring on a physical body; at that stage of the Critique Kant is describing conditions for conscious experience in general, not the conscious experience of spatio-temporally located makers of judgements. The alleged lacuna in Kant's arguments is no lacuna at all.
|Keywords||Consciousness Metaphysics Mind Kant Mcdowell, J|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John H. Zammito (2008). Kant and Naturalism Reconsidered. Inquiry 51 (5):532 – 558.
Stephen Houlgate (2009). Response to John McDowell. The Owl of Minerva 41 (1/2):39-51.
Patricia Kitcher (2000). On Interpreting Kant's Thinker as Wittgenstein's 'I'. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):33-63.
Patricia Kitcher (2011). Kant's Thinker. Oxford University Press.
Christopher Norris (2011). ‘Second Nature’, Knowledge, and Normativity: Revisiting McDowell’s Kant. Diametros 27:64-107.
Dennis Schulting (2012). Non-Apperceptive Consciousness. In Riccardo Pozzo, Piero Giordanetti & Marco Sgarbi (eds.), Kant's Philosophy of the Unconscious. de Gruyter.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). Contemporary Epistemology: Kant, Hegel, McDowell. European Journal of Philosophy 14 (2):274–301.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads127 ( #8,559 of 1,140,334 )
Recent downloads (6 months)22 ( #8,748 of 1,140,334 )
How can I increase my downloads?