International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (2):159 – 189 (2006)
This article examines various dilemmas (or, as I suggest, pseudo-dilemmas) that have dogged epistemology and philosophy of language since the 1940s heyday of logical empiricism. These have to do chiefly with the problem those thinkers faced in overcoming the various dichotomies imposed by their Humean insistence on maintaining a sharp distinction between logical 'truths of reason' and empirical 'matters of fact'. I trace this problem back to Kant's failure to offer any plausible, explanatorily adequate account of the process whereby 'sensuous intuitions' were brought under 'concepts of understanding' through the joint (somewhat mysterious) agency of 'judgement' and 'imagination'. The argument then proceeds, via Quine's (on the face of it) radically anti-dualist critique of logical empiricism, to more recent attempts - by Davidson and McDowell - to locate the residual dualism in Quine (that of scheme and content), and thus to bring philosophy out on the far side of all these vexing dilemmas. I maintain that the problem goes much deeper and re-emerges with full force both in Davidson's coupling of a formalized (Tarskian) truth-theoretic approach with a strain of radical empiricism and likewise in McDowell's revisionist, supposedly 'naturalized', but none the less dualist reading of Kant on the twin powers of 'spontaneity' and 'receptivity'. Its ultimate source - I suggest - is the normative deficit, i.e., the lack of rational and justificatory values that has typified empiricist thinking from Hume to Quine, along with its attendant sceptical outlook as regards the existence of causal powers or the status and validity of causal explanations. My paper concludes by indicating briefly some alternative resources that might point a way beyond this longstanding impasse.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Conceptual Schemes and Empiricism: What Davidson Saw and McDowell Missed.Jesús Coll Mármol - 2007 - Theoria 22 (2):153-165.
Quine's Naturalized Epistemology and the Third Dogma of Empiricism.Robert Sinclair - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):455-472.
‘Second Nature’, Knowledge, and Normativity: Revisiting McDowell’s Kant.Christopher Norris - 2011 - Diametros 27:64-107.
Reply to Jeff Malpas: On Truth, Realism, Changing One's Mind About Davidson (Not Heidegger), and Related Topics.Christopher Norris - 2004 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (3):357 – 374.
The Definition of Moral Dilemmas: A Logical Problem. [REVIEW]De Haan Jurriaan - 2001 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):267-284.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #476,364 of 2,146,279 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?
There are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.