Compatibility and tensions between transcendental idealism and common-sense realism — Husserl and McDowell

Comparative and Continental Philosophy 10 (1):88-99 (2018)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTThe guiding question of this comparative study is the relation between transcendental theory and common-sense realism: how to understand their compatibility, but also possible tensions between the two. This question concerns, in a broader sense, the relation between philosophy and natural life, or more precisely, what philosophy possibly can and cannot do for natural life. In the following discussion, I first introduce the idealism-realism controversy in Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. I then move on to McDowell’s theory and look into a significant convergence between the two philosophies, namely, their insistence on the “unboundedness” of subjectivity, and I clarify how this shared viewpoint makes their proposals compatible with common-sense realism. In a third section, I elaborate the relation between a transcendental and a natural stance by turning to Husserl’s method of phenomenological reduction. In the end, by attending to the anti-naturalism of Husserl and McDowell, I wish to shed s...

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