A New Scene of Thought: On Waldow's Experience Embodied [Book Review]

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 31 (2):211-220 (2023)
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Abstract

In her book Experience Embodied, Anik Waldow challenges and reimagines the traditional interpretative approach to the concept of experience in the early modern period. Traditionally, commentators have emphasized early moderns’ views on the first-person perspective and eschewed the relevance of our embodiment to their epistemological outlooks. My focus here is on Waldow’s chapter on Hume, wherein she analyzes Hume’s account of our capacity for reflective moral judgment, arguing that he understands it as natural despite the countless ways in which our embodied social experiences impinge on it. After detailing Waldow’s contributions, I clarify, corroborate, and criticize them. Since I contend that Waldow is broadly successful in her interpretative efforts, I suggest that she undermines the traditional interpretative approach to experience in the early modern period, but not in the sense that she moves us away from the epistemological towards other lenses. Rather, Waldow should be understood as showing that, at least in the case of Hume’s metaethics, the epistemological is embodied, is social, and is both cognitive and sentimental.

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Graham Clay
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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References found in this work

Cognition and commitment in Hume's philosophy.Don Garrett - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Of the standard of taste.David Hume - 1875 - In Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary. Indianapolis: Liberty Press. pp. 226-249.
Hume’s Moral Theory.J. L. Mackie - 1980 - Boston: Routledge.

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