Mind and World [NOOK Book]

Overview

Modern philosophy finds it difficult to give a satisfactory picture of the place of minds in the world. In Mind and World, one of the most distinguished philosophers writing today offers his diagnosis of this difficulty and points to a cure.
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Mind and World

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Overview

Modern philosophy finds it difficult to give a satisfactory picture of the place of minds in the world. In Mind and World, one of the most distinguished philosophers writing today offers his diagnosis of this difficulty and points to a cure.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Based on the 1991 John Locke Lectures by McDowell (philosophy, U. of Pittsburgh) on empirical thought and the problem of dualism in modern philosophy. McDowell illustrates the pitfalls of conceiving of empirical thought as rationally grounded in experience through the works of philosophers from Wilfrid Sellars to Donald Davidson, and proposes a return to a pre-modern conception of nature. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
London Review of Books

Ever since Descartes, a lot of the very best philosophers have thought of science as an invading army from whose depredations safe havens have somehow to be constructed. Philosophy patrols the borders, keeping the sciences "intellectually respectable" by keeping them "within...proper bounds." But you have to look outside these bounds if what you care about is the life of the spirit or the life of the mind. McDowell's is as good a contemporary representative of this kind of philosophical sensibility as you could hope to find.
— Jerry Fodor

Radical Philosophy

A powerfully impressive book which simply towers over the more routine contributions of current analytical philosophy.
— Simon Glendinning

Canadian Journal of Philosophy

McDowell locates an important tension in our thinking about thought, suggests an attractive way of easing the tension, and offers a plausible diagnosis of why the tension is acute...Mind and World is a genuinely provocative book that should be discussed.
— Paul M. Pietroski

London Review of Books - Jerry Fodor
Ever since Descartes, a lot of the very best philosophers have thought of science as an invading army from whose depredations safe havens have somehow to be constructed. Philosophy patrols the borders, keeping the sciences "intellectually respectable" by keeping them "within...proper bounds." But you have to look outside these bounds if what you care about is the life of the spirit or the life of the mind. McDowell's is as good a contemporary representative of this kind of philosophical sensibility as you could hope to find.
Radical Philosophy - Simon Glendinning
A powerfully impressive book which simply towers over the more routine contributions of current analytical philosophy.
Canadian Journal of Philosophy - Paul M. Pietroski
McDowell locates an important tension in our thinking about thought, suggests an attractive way of easing the tension, and offers a plausible diagnosis of why the tension is acute...Mind and World is a genuinely provocative book that should be discussed.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674417908
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,342,256
  • File size: 778 KB

Meet the Author

John McDowell is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Table of Contents

Preface
I Concepts and Intuitions 3
II The Unboundedness of the Conceptual 24
III Non-conceptual Content 46
IV Reason and Nature 66
V Action, Meaning, and the Self 87
VI Rational and Other Animals 108
Davidson in Context 129
Postscript to Lecture III 162
Postscript to Lecture V 175
Postscript to Lecture VI 181
Index 189
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A fascinating and compelling book

    John McDowell's writing has been characterized as "dense." Having read several of his other papers, I do not think this is a totally unfair charge. The opposite needs to be said of Mind and World: it is refreshingly accessible. This book weaves rigorous argumentation with historical stage-setting effortlessly.

    Unfortunately, to fully appreciate some of McDowell's points, it requires a substantial background in philosophy, although I do not think that such a background is necessary to grasp the main argument of the book (the philosophers that McDowell grapples with most explicitly are Donald Davidson, Kant, and Gareth Evans, although I think that a perusal of 20th century analytic philosophy is sufficient). I say "unfortunately" because I think that anyone who has ever worried about how we could square our conception of ourselves as rational, free, and meaningful beings with a scientific conception of the world as constituted by arational, deterministic, and meaningless particles and forces, needs to read this book. McDowell seeks to alleviate this anxiety, not by offering a constructive account of minds and the world, but by disabusing us of some assumptions we have understandably adopted in light of the hard-won intellectual advances made by modern science.

    Whether or not his diagnosis of our situation is correct is something that has, and will be, debated for some time. That said, I do not think it is contentious to say that his argument is careful and compelling and that the book should be read by anyone studying or planning to study the philosophy of science, mind, and even ethics.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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