This article argues that abstract knowledge in the form of formally developed theory plays an increasingly important role in the economy and in financial innovation in particular.knowledge is easily reified, and this is an aspect of knowledge work that is insufficiently researched. In this article, we problematize reification of abstract knowledge in financial innovation from wisdom, ethics, and social network analysis perspectives. This article, therefore, considers the composition and structures of financial innovation networks that help avoid reification by building ethicality (...) through social practice wisdom. Finally, we discuss future directions that empirical ethics research can take. (shrink)
In this paper we respond to Benjamin Crowe's criticisms in this issue of our discussion of the grounds of worship. We clarify our previous position, and examine Crowe's account of what it is about God's nature that might ground our obligation to worship Him. We find Crowe's proposals no more persuasive than the accounts that we examined in our previous paper, and conclude that theists still owe us an account of what it is in virtue of which we have obligations (...) to worship God. (shrink)
Tim Bayne draws on philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience in defence of the claim that consciousness is unified. He develops an account of what it means to say that consciousness is unified, and then applies this account to a variety of cases - drawn from both normal and pathological forms of experience - in which the unity of consciousness is said to break down. He goes on to explore the implications of the unity of consciousness for theories of consciousness, for the (...) sense of embodiment, and for accounts of the self. The Unity of Consciousness draws on a wide range of findings within philosophy and the sciences of the mind to construct an account of the unity of consciousness that is both conceptually sophisticated and scientifically informed. (shrink)
In this work Tim Ingold provides a persuasive new approach to the theory behind our perception of the world around us. The core of the argument is that where we refer to cultural variation we should be instead be talking about variation in skill. Neither genetically innate or culturally acquired, skills are incorporated into the human organism through practice and training in an environment.They are as much biological as cultural.
A sophisticated and original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics from one of the world’s leading philosophers of physics In this book, Tim Maudlin, one of the world’s leading philosophers of physics, offers a sophisticated, original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics. The briefest, clearest, and most refined account of his influential approach to the subject, the book will be invaluable to all students of philosophy and physics. Quantum mechanics holds a unique place in the history of physics. (...) It has produced the most accurate predictions of any scientific theory, but, more astonishing, there has never been any agreement about what the theory implies about physical reality. Maudlin argues that the very term “quantum theory” is a misnomer. A proper physical theory should clearly describe what is there and what it does—yet standard textbooks present quantum mechanics as a predictive recipe in search of a physical theory. In contrast, Maudlin explores three proper theories that recover the quantum predictions: the indeterministic wavefunction collapse theory of Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber; the deterministic particle theory of deBroglie and Bohm; and the conceptually challenging Many Worlds theory of Everett. Each offers a radically different proposal for the nature of physical reality, but Maudlin shows that none of them are what they are generally taken to be. (shrink)
Anthropology is a disciplined inquiry into the conditions and potentials of human life. Generations of theorists, however, have expunged life from their accounts, treating it as the mere output of patterns, codes, structures or systems variously defined as genetic or cultural, natural or social. Building on his classic work The Perception of the Environment, Tim Ingold sets out to restore life to where it should belong, at the heart of anthropological concern. Being Alive ranges over such themes as the vitality (...) of materials, what it means to make things, the perception and formation of the ground, the mingling of earth and sky in the weather-world, the experiences of light, sound and feeling, the role of storytelling in the integration of knowledge, and the potential of drawing to unite observation and description. Our humanity, Ingold argues, does not come ready-made but is continually fashioned in our movements along ways of life. Starting from the idea of life as a process of wayfaring, Ingold presents a radically new understanding of movement, knowledge and description as dimensions not just of being in the world, but of being alive to what is going on there. (shrink)
Tim Button explores the relationship between minds, words, and world. He argues that the two main strands of scepticism are deeply related and can be overcome, but that there is a limit to how much we can show. We must position ourselves somewhere between internal realism and external realism, and we cannot hope to say exactly where.
Tim Crane addresses the ancient question of how it is possible to think about what does not exist. He argues that the representation of the non-existent is a pervasive feature of our thought about the world, and that to understand thought's representational power ('intentionality') we need to understand the representation of the non-existent.
Tim Lewens aims to understand what it means to take an evolutionary approach to cultural change, and why it is that these approaches are sometimes treated with suspicion. While making a case for the value of evolutionary thinking for students of culture, he shows why the concerns of sceptics should not dismissed as mere prejudice, confusion, or ignorance. Indeed, confusions about what evolutionary approaches entail are propagated by their proponents, as well as by their detractors. By taking seriously the problems (...) faced by these approaches to culture, he shows how such approaches can be better formulated, where their most significant limitations lie, and how the tools of cultural evolutionary thinking might become more widely accepted. (shrink)
This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory. Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special relativity using a geometrical approach, emphasizing intrinsic space-time structure rather than (...) coordinate systems or reference frames. He gives readers enough detail about special relativity to solve concrete physical problems while presenting general relativity in a more qualitative way, with an informative discussion of the geometrization of gravity, the bending of light, and black holes. Additional topics include the Twins Paradox, the physical aspects of the Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction, the constancy of the speed of light, time travel, the direction of time, and more.Introduces nonphysicists to the philosophical foundations of space-time theory Provides a broad historical overview, from Aristotle to Einstein Explains special relativity geometrically, emphasizing the intrinsic structure of space-time Covers the Twins Paradox, Galilean relativity, time travel, and more Requires only basic algebra and no formal knowledge of physics. (shrink)
Tim Mulgan presents a penetrating examination of consequentialism: the theory that human behavior must be judged in terms of the goodness or badness of its consequences. The problem with consequentialism is that it seems unreasonably demanding, leaving us no room for our own aims and interests. In response, Mulgan offers his own, more practical version of consequentialism--one that will surely appeal to philosophers and laypersons alike.
Much recent discussion has focused on the nature of artifacts, particularly on whether artifacts have essences. While the general consensus is that artifacts are at least intention-dependent, an equally common view is function essentialism about artifacts, the view that artifacts are essentially functional objects and that membership in an artifact kind is determined by a particular, shared function. This paper argues that function essentialism about artifacts is false. First, the two component conditions of function essentialism are given a clear and (...) precise formulation, after which counterexamples are offered to each. Second, ways to handle the counterexamples suggested by Randall Dipert and Simon Evnine are considered and rejected. Third, I then consider the prospects for restricting function essentialism to so-called technical artifacts, as Lynne Baker does, and argue that this, too, fails. This paper thereby consolidates the scattered literature on function essentialism and shows that, despite the seeming plausibility of the thesis, it should be rejected as an account of artifact essences. (shrink)
To understand the mind, we need to draw equally on the fields of cognitive science and neuroscience. But these two fields have very separate intellectual roots, and very different styles. So how can these two be reconciled in order to develop a full understanding of the mind and brain.This is the focus of this landmark new book.
objects are standardly taken to be causally inert, but this claim is rarely explicitly argued for. In the context of his platonism about musical works, in order for musical works to be audible, Julian Dodd argues that abstracta are causally efficacious in virtue of their concrete tokens participating in events. I attempt to provide a principled argument for the causal inertness of abstracta by first rejecting Dodd’s arguments from events, and then extending and generalizing the causal exclusion argument to the (...) abstract/concrete distinction. For reasons of parsimony, if concrete tokens or instantiations of abstract objects account for all causal work, then there is no reason to attribute causal efficacy to abstracta, and thus reason to maintain their causal inertness. I then consider how one of the main arguments against causal exclusion, namely Stephen Yablo’s notion of “proportionality”, could be modified to support the causal efficacy of abstracta. I argue that from a few simple premises Yablo’s account in fact supports their causal inertness. Having a principled reason for the causal inertness of abstracta appears to entail that the musical platonist must admit that we never literally hear the musical work, but only its performances. I sketch a solution to this problem available to Dodd, so that the musical platonist can maintain that musical works are abstract objects and are causally inert while retaining their audibility. (shrink)
This paper studies the relationship between labelled and nested calculi for propositional intuitionistic logic, first-order intuitionistic logic with non-constant domains and first-order intuitionistic logic with constant domains. It is shown that Fitting’s nested calculi naturally arise from their corresponding labelled calculi—for each of the aforementioned logics—via the elimination of structural rules in labelled derivations. The translational correspondence between the two types of systems is leveraged to show that the nested calculi inherit proof-theoretic properties from their associated labelled calculi, such as (...) completeness, invertibility of rules and cut admissibility. Since labelled calculi are easily obtained via a logic’s semantics, the method presented in this paper can be seen as one whereby refined versions of labelled calculi (containing nested calculi as fragments) with favourable properties are derived directly from a logic’s semantics. (shrink)
What do we owe to our descendants? How do we balance their needs against our own? Tim Mulgan develops a new theory of our obligations to future generations, based on a new rule-consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. He also brings together several different contemporary philosophical discussions, including the demands of morality and international justice. His aim is to produce a coherent, intuitively plausible moral theory that is not unreasonably demanding, even when extended to cover future people. While (...) the book focuses on developing this new account, there are also substantial discussions of alternative views, especially contract-based accounts of intergenerational justice and competing forms of consequentialism. (shrink)
Growing interest among historians and social scientists in the work of Karl Polanyi has yet to produce detailed historical studies of how Polanyi's work was received by his contemporaries. This article reconstructs the frustration of Polanyi's attempts to make a name for himself among English socialists between his arrival from Vienna in 1934 and his departure for New York in 1947. The most obvious explanation for Polanyi's failure to find a following was the socialist historians’ rejection of his unorthodox narrative (...) of the rise of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution in The Great Transformation. But this disappointment was anticipated in earlier exchanges revealing that Polanyi's social theory, specifically his conception of the self and its social relations, differed markedly from the views prevailing among socialists of R. H. Tawney and G. D. H. Cole's generation. As well as casting new light on the intellectual history of English socialism and variegating our understanding of the contexts in which conceptions of the human person were invoked in the interwar period, this article seeks to illuminate by example the importance of deep-seated, often tacit, commitments to particular conceptions of the self and its social relations in structuring mid-century intellectual life. (shrink)
Much recent work on the ethics of new biomedical technologies is committed to hidden, contestable views about the nature of biological reality. This selection of essays by Tim Lewens explores and scrutinises these biological foundations, and includes work on human enhancement, synthetic biology, and justice in healthcare decision-making.
The on-going debate over the ‘admissible contents of perceptual experience’ concerns the range of properties that human beings are directly acquainted with in perceptual experience. Regarding vision, it is relatively uncontroversial that the following properties can figure in the contents of visual experience: colour, shape, illumination, spatial relations, motion, and texture. The controversy begins when we ask whether any properties besides these figure in visual experience. We argue that ‘ensemble properties’ should be added to the list of visually admissible properties. (...) Ensemble properties are features that belong to a set of perceptible objects as a whole as opposed to the individuals that constitute that set. They include such features as the mean size of an array of shapes or the average emotional expression of an array of faces. Recent work in vision science has yielded compelling evidence that the visual system routinely encodes such properties. We argue that epistemological considerations provide strong reasons to think that these properties figure in visual experience. Judgements about ensemble properties are immediately warranted by our perceptual experience, and the only plausible way that a perceptual experience could confer this warrant is if it confers awareness of ensemble properties. (shrink)
Abstract objects are standardly taken to be causally inert, however principled arguments for this claim are rarely given. As a result, a number of recent authors have claimed that abstract objects are causally efficacious. These authors take abstracta to be temporally located in order to enter into causal relations but lack a spatial location. In this paper, I argue that such a position is untenable by showing first that causation requires its relata to have a temporal location, but second, that (...) if an entity is temporally located then it is spatiotemporally located since this follows from the theory of Relativity. Since abstract objects lack a spatiotemporal location, then if something is causally efficacious, it is not abstract. (shrink)
We provide a direct method for proving Craig interpolation for a range of modal and intuitionistic logics, including those containing a "converse" modality. We demonstrate this method for classical tense logic, its extensions with path axioms, and for bi-intuitionistic logic. These logics do not have straightforward formalisations in the traditional Gentzen-style sequent calculus, but have all been shown to have cut-free nested sequent calculi. The proof of the interpolation theorem uses these calculi and is purely syntactic, without resorting to embeddings, (...) semantic arguments, or interpreted connectives external to the underlying logical language. A novel feature of our proof includes an orthogonality condition for defining duality between interpolants. (shrink)
Differences in ethical ideology are thought to influence individuals'' reasoning about moral issues (Forsyth and Nye, 1990; Forsyth, 1992). To date, relatively little research has addressed this proposition in terms of business-related ethical issues. In the present study, four groups, representing four distinct ethical ideologies, were created based on the two dimensions of the Ethical Position Questionnaire (idealism and relativism), as posited by Forsyth (1980). The ethical judgments of individuals regarding several business-related issues varied, depending upon their ethical ideology.
Neuropsychological results are increasingly cited in cognitive theories although their methodology has been severely criticised. The book argues for an eclectic approach but particularly stresses the use of single-case studies. A range of potential artifacts exists when inferences are made from such studies to the organisation of normal function – for example, resource differences among tasks, premorbid individual differences, and reorganisation of function. The use of “strong” and “classical” dissociations minimises potential artifacts. The theoretical convergence between findings from fields where (...) cognitive neuropsychology is well developed and those from the normal literature strongly suggests that the potential artifacts are not critical. The fields examined in detail in this respect are short-term memory, reading, writing, the organisation of input and output speech systems, and visual perception. Functional dissociation data suggest that not only are input systems organised modularly, but so are central systems. This conclusion is supported by findings on impairment of knowledge, visual attention, supervisory functions, memory, and consciousness. (shrink)
Abstract The only biologically respectable notion of human nature is an extremely permissive one that names the reliable dispositions of the human species as a whole. This conception offers no ethical guidance in debates over enhancement, and indeed it has the result that alterations to human nature have been commonplace in the history of our species. Aristotelian conceptions of species natures, which are currently fashionable in meta-ethics and applied ethics, have no basis in biological fact. Moreover, because our folk psychology (...) finds this misleading Aristotelian conception highly tempting, we are in fact better off if we refrain from mentioning human nature altogether in debates over enhancement. Content Type Journal Article Category Special Issue Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0063-x Authors Tim Lewens, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RH UK Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
There are empirical grounds to doubt the effectiveness of a common and intuitive approach to teaching debiasing strategies in critical thinking courses. We summarize some of the grounds before suggesting a broader taxonomy of debiasing strategies. This four-level taxonomy enables a useful diagnosis of biasing factors and situations, and illuminates more strategies for more effective bias mitigation located in the shaping of situational factors and reasoning infrastructure—sometimes called “nudges” in the literature. The question, we contend, then becomes how best to (...) teach the construction and use of such infrastructures. (shrink)
Amie Thomasson and Eli Hirsch have both attempted to deflate metaphysics, by combining Carnapian ideas with an appeal to ordinary language. My main aim in this paper is to critique such deflationary appeals to ordinary language. Focussing on Thomasson, I draw two very general conclusions. First: ordinary language is a wildly complicated phenomenon. Its implicit ontological commitments can only be tackled by invoking a context principle; but this will mean that ordinary language ontology is not a trivial enterprise. Second: ordinary (...) language often points in different directions simultaneously, so that a wide variety of existence questions cannot be deflated merely by appealing to ordinary language. (shrink)
Dimensions of the ethical work climate, as conceptualized by Victor and Cullen (1988), are potentially important influences on individual ethical decision-making in the organizational context. The present study examined the direct and indirect effects of individuals' perceptions of work climate on their ethical judgments and behavioral intentions regarding an ethical dilemma. A national sample of marketers was surveyed in a scenario-based research study. The results indicated that, although perceived climate dimensions did not have a direct effect on behavioral intentions, there (...) were significant moderating effects. Climates perceived as emphasizing social responsibility and rules/codes moderated the individual ethical judgment-behavioral intentions relationship such that individuals were less likely to say that they would engage in a questionable selling practice even when they themselves did not believe the practice to be unethical. Respondents were somewhat more likely to form intentions consistent with their judgment that the questionable practice was morally acceptable when the ethical climate was characterized by an emphasis on team/friendship. (shrink)
I defend the intention-dependence of artifacts (IDA), which says that something is an artifact of kind K only if it is the successful product of an intention to make an artifact of kind K. I consider objections from two directions. First, that artifacts are often mind- and intention-dependent, but that this isn’t necessary, as shown by swamp cases. I offer various error theories for why someone would have artifact intuitions in such cases. Second, that while artifacts are necessarily mind-dependent, they (...) aren’t necessarily intention-dependent. I consider and reject three kinds of cases which purport to show this: accidental creation, automated production, and mass production. I argue that intentions are present in all of these cases, but not where we would normally expect. (shrink)
Two familiar worldviews dominate Western philosophy: materialist atheism and the benevolent God of the Abrahamic faiths. Tim Mulgan explores a third way. Ananthropocentric Purposivism claims that there is a cosmic purpose, but human beings are irrelevant to it. Purpose in the Universe develops a philosophical case for Ananthropocentric Purposivism that it is at least as strong as the case for either theism or atheism. He draws on a range of secular and religious ethical traditions to conclude that a non-human-centred cosmic (...) purpose can ground a distinctive human morality. Our moral practices, our view of the moral universe, and our moral theory are all transformed if we shift from the familiar choice between a universe without meaning and a universe where humans matter to the less self-aggrandising thought that, while it is about something, the universe is not about us. (shrink)
This paper shows how to derive nested calculi from labelled calculi for propositional intuitionistic logic and first-order intuitionistic logic with constant domains, thus connecting the general results for labelled calculi with the more refined formalism of nested sequents. The extraction of nested calculi from labelled calculi obtains via considerations pertaining to the elimination of structural rules in labelled derivations. Each aspect of the extraction process is motivated and detailed, showing that each nested calculus inherits favorable proof-theoretic properties from its associated (...) labelled calculus. (shrink)
This work provides proof-search algorithms and automated counter-model extraction for a class of STIT logics. With this, we answer an open problem concerning syntactic decision procedures and cut-free calculi for STIT logics. A new class of cut-free complete labelled sequent calculi G3LdmL^m_n, for multi-agent STIT with at most n-many choices, is introduced. We refine the calculi G3LdmL^m_n through the use of propagation rules and demonstrate the admissibility of their structural rules, resulting in auxiliary calculi Ldm^m_nL. In the single-agent case, we (...) show that the refined calculi Ldm^m_nL derive theorems within a restricted class of (forestlike) sequents, allowing us to provide proof-search algorithms that decide single-agent STIT logics. We prove that the proof-search algorithms are correct and terminate. (shrink)
In this ingenious and powerfully argued book Tim Maudlin sets out a novel account of logic and semantics which allows him to deal with certain notorious paradoxes which have bedevilled philosophical theories of truth. All philosophers interested in logic and language will find this a stimulating read.
I call into question a pair of closely related assumptions that are almost universally shared in the literature on predicates of taste. The assumptions are, first, that predicates of taste – words like ‘tasty’ – are semantically evaluative. In other words, that it is part of the meaning of a word like ‘tasty’ to describe an object as in some sense good, or to say that it is pleasing. And second, that the meaning of predicates of taste is in some (...) way relativized to an experiencer or standard – the person that the object is pleasing to or the standard according to which the object is good. Parties to the literature on these terms tend to disagree about the role of context in determining the truth of claims involving predicates of taste, or in determining which proposition is expressed. But they agree that to call some dish ‘tasty’ is to say something positive about that dish, to suggest that someone or other finds, or is disposed to find, the dish pleasing. I suggest instead that ‘tasty’, and indeed... (shrink)
The meaning and truth conditions for claims about physical modality and causation have been considered problematic since Hume’s empiricist critique. But the underlying semantic commitments that follow from Hume’s empiricism about ideas have long been abandoned by the philosophical community. Once the consequences of that abandonment are properly appreciated, the problems of physical modality and causal locutions fall away, and can be painlessly solved.
The sensitivity condition on knowledge says that one knows that P only if one would not believe that P if P were false. Difficulties for this condition are now well documented. Keith DeRose has recently suggested a revised sensitivity condition that is designed to avoid some of these difficulties. We argue, however, that there are decisive objections to DeRose’s revised condition. Yet rather than simply abandoning his proposed condition, we uncover a rationale for its adoption, a rationale which suggests a (...) further revision that avoids our objections as well as others. The payoff is considerable: along the way to our revision, we learn lessons about the epistemic significance of certain explanatory relations, about how we ought to envisage epistemic closure principles, and about the epistemic significance of methods of belief formation. (shrink)
We defend the view that we are not identical to organisms against the objection that it implies that there are two subjects of every conscious state one experiences: oneself and one’s organism. We then criticize animalism —the view that each of us is identical to a human organism—by showing that it has unacceptable implications for a range of actual and hypothetical cases of conjoined twinning : dicephalus, craniopagus parasiticus, and cephalopagus.
In this invaluable book, Tim Lewens shows in a clear and accessible manner how important Darwin is for philosophy and how his work has shaped and challenged the very nature of the subject. Beginning with an overview of Darwin’s life and work, the subsequent chapters discuss the full range of fundamental philosophical topics from a Darwinian perspective. These include natural selection; the origin and nature of species; the role of evidence in scientific enquiry; the theory of Intelligent Design; evolutionary approaches (...) to the human mind; the implications of Darwin’s work for ethics and epistemology; and the question of how social and political thought needs to be updated in the light of a Darwinian understanding of human nature. A concluding chapter assesses the philosophical legacy of Darwin’s thought. _Darwin_ is essential reading for anyone in the humanities, social sciences and sciences seeking a philosophical introduction to Darwin, or anyone simply seeking a philosophical companion to Darwin’s own writings. (shrink)
In his 1996 paper Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem, Francisco Varela called for a union of Husserlian phenomenology and cognitive science. Varela''s call hasn''t gone unanswered, and recent years have seen the development of a small but growing literature intent on exploring the interface between phenomenology and cognitive science. But despite these developments, there is still some obscurity about what exactly neurophenomenology is. What are neurophenomenologists trying to do, and how are they trying to do it? To (...) what extent is neurophenomenology a distinctive and unified research programme? In this paper I attempt to shed some light on these questions. (shrink)
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of calls for moral education to receive greater public attention. In our pluralist society, however, it is difficult to find agreement on what exactly moral education requires. Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education develops a detailed philosophical defence of the claim that teachers should engage students in ethical discussions to promote moral competence and strengthen moral character. Paying particular attention to the teacher's role, this book highlights the justification for, and (...) methods of, creating a classroom community of ethical inquiry. (shrink)
The present study extends the study of individuals' ethical ideology withinthe context of marketing ethics issues. A national sample of marketing professionals participated. Respondents' ethical ideologies were classified as absolutists, situationists, exceptionists, or subjectivists using the Ethical Position Questionnaire (Forsyth, 1980). Respondents then answered questions about three ethically ambiguous situations common to marketing and sales. The results indicated that marketers' ethical judgments about the situations differed based on their ethical ideology, with absolutists rating the actions as most unethical. The findings (...) are consistent with those of two earlier studies that utilized samples of business students (Barnett et al., 1994, 1995). The results suggest that personal moral philosophy is an important influence on ethical decision making that should be considered in empirical studies of business ethics. The results also support the utility of the Ethical Position Questionnaire (Forsyth, 1980) as a means for researchers and practitioners to assess individuals' ethical ideology. (shrink)
It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of the (...) problem of non-existence, despite what some philosophers say. (shrink)
Whistleblowing by employees to regulatory agencies and other parties external to the organization can have serious consequences both for the whistleblower and the company involved. Research has largely focused on individual and group variables that affect individuals'' decision to blow the whistle on perceived wrongdoing.This study examined the relationship between selected organizational characteristics and the perceived level of external whistleblowing by employees in 240 organizations. Data collected in a nationwide survey of human resource executives were analyzed using analysis of variance.
John McDowell's contribution to philosophy has ranged across Greek philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics and ethics. His writings have drawn on the works of, amongst others, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Sellars, and Davidson. His contributions have made him one of the most widely read, discussed and challenging philosophers writing today. This book provides a careful account of the main claims that McDowell advances in a number of different areas of philosophy. The interconnections between the different (...) arguments are highlighted and Tim Thornton shows how these individual projects are unified in a post-Kantian framework that articulates the preconditions of thought and language. Thornton sets out the differing strands of McDowell's work prior to, and leading up to, their combination in the broader philosophical vision revealed in "Mind and World" and provides an interpretative and critical framework that will help shape ongoing debates surrounding McDowell's work. An underlying theme of the book is whether McDowell's therapeutic approach to philosophy, which owes much to the later Wittgenstein, is consistent with the substance of McDowell's discussion of nature that uses the vocabulary of other philosophers including, centrally, Kant. (shrink)