Meaning, Knowledge, and Reality

Meaning, Knowledge, and Reality

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This is the second volume of John McDowell's selected papers. These nineteen essays collectively report on McDowell's involvement, over more than twenty years, with questions about the interface between the philosophies of language and mind and with issues in general epistemology. Throughout McDowell focuses on questions to do with content: with the nature of content both linguistic and psychological; with what McDowell regards as misguided views about content; and with the form which a proper semantic theory of content should assume.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 478 pages
  • 144 x 227 x 30.48mm | 599g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 1 table
  • 0674007123
  • 9780674007123
  • 966,856

Table of contents

PART 1: MEANING, TRUTH, AND UNDERSTANDING 1. Truth-Conditions, Bivalence, and Verificationism 2. Meaning, Communication, and Knowledge 3. Quotation and Saying That 4. In Defence of Modesty 5. Another Plea for Modesty 6. Physicalism and Primitive Denotation: Field on Tarski PART 2: REFERENCE, THOUGHT, AND WORLDS 7. Identity Mistakes: Plato and the Logical Atomists 8. On the Sense and Reference of a Proper Name 9. Truth-Value Gaps 10.De Re Senses 11. Singular Thought and the Extent of Inner Space 12. Intentionality De Re 13. Putnam on Mind and Meaning PART 3: REALISM AND ANTI-REALISM 14. On "The Reality of the Past" 15. Anti-Realism and the Epistemology of Understanding 16. Mathematical Platonism and Dummettian Anti-Realism PART 4: ISSUES IN EPISTEMOLOGY 17. Criteria, Defeasibility, and Knowledge 18. Knowledge and the Internal 19. Knowledge by Hearsay Bibliography Credits Index
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Review quote

In a characteristic passage...[McDowell] is discussing knowledge, but the passage could stand at the head of almost any of the immensely influential essays collected in these two volumes. Reading them together, one is struck by how much they have in common, despite the breadth of issues that they address, ranging from ethics to metaphysics, the theory of knowledge, mind and language. Time and again, McDowell aims to dissolve a philosophical problem by showing that it rests on a false assumption... What form do McDowell's exorcisms take? They vary, of course, to suit the nature of the problem addressed. But there is a typical McDowellian move, which consists of the rejection of an approach that is so pervasive in contemporary philosophical thinking as to seem inescapable. This approach involves treating such phenomena as perception, knowledge, memory and the content of thought as composite: as consisting of different factors that can obtain independently. And part of the reason why this approach can seem so inescapable is that it starts with reflections that are not more than common sense. -- Richard Holton * Times Literary Supplement *
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About John McDowell

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