Disenchanting the world: McDowell, Sellars, and rational constraint by perception

Journal of Philosophical Research 29 (February):125-152 (2004)

Abstract

In his book Mind and World, John McDowell grapples with the problem that the world must and yet seemingly cannot constrain our empirical thought. I first argue that McDowell’s proposed solution to the problem throws him onto the horns of his own, intractable dilemma, and thus fails to solve the problem of rational constraint by the world. Next, I will argue that Wilfrid Sellars, in a series of articles written in the 1950s and 60s, provides the tools to solve the dilemma McDowell sets before us. We will see how, borrowing from Sellars and certain neo-Sellarsians, we can solve the problem of rational constraint by perception without resorting to a McDowellian quasi-enchantment of the world.

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Jeremy Koons
Georgetown University

References found in this work

A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge.Donald Davidson - 2000 - In Sven Bernecker & Fred I. Dretske (eds.), Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
Mind Embodied and Embedded.John Haugeland - 1993 - In Yu-Houng H. Houng & J. Ho (eds.), Mind and Cognition: 1993 International Symposium. Academica Sinica. pp. 233-267.
Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind.Jaegwon Kim - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Freedom and Constraint by Norms.Robert Brandom - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (3):187 - 196.

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Citations of this work

Preconceptual Intelligibility in Perception.Daniel Dwyer - 2013 - Continental Philosophy Review 46 (4):533-553.

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