Mind and World

Mind and World

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Description

Modern philosophy finds it difficult to give a satisfactory picture of the place of minds in the world. In "Mind and World", based on the 1991 John Locke Lectures, John McDowell offers his diagnosis of this difficulty and points to a cure. He illustrates a major problem of modern philosophy - the insidious persistence of dualism - in his discussion of empirical thought. Much as we would like to conceive empirical thought as rationally grounded in experience, pitfalls await anyone who tries to articulate this position, and McDowell exposes these traps by exploiting the work of contemporary philosophers from Wilfrid Sellars to Donald Davidson. These difficulties, he contends, reflect an understandable - but surmountable - failure to see how we might integrate what Sellars calls "the logical space of reasons" into the natural world. What underlies this impasse is a conception of nature that has certain attractions for the modern age, a conception that McDowell proposes to put aside, thus circumventing these philosophical difficulties.By returning to a pre-modern conception of nature but retaining the intellectual advance of modernity that has mistakenly been viewed as dislodging it, he makes room for a fully satisfying conception of experience as a rational openness to independent reality. This approach also overcomes other obstacles that impede a generally satisfying understanding of how we are placed in the world.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 16mm | 322.06g
  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • 4th ed.
  • 0674576101
  • 9780674576100
  • 132,666

Review quote

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 London Review of Books A powerfully impressive book which simply towers over the more routine contributions of current analytical philosophy. -- Simon Glendinning Radical 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 Canadian Journal of Philosophyshow more

Back cover copy

Modern philosophy finds it difficult to give a satisfactory picture of the place of minds in the world. In Mind and World, based on the 1991 John Locke Lectures, one of the most distinguished philosophers writing today offers his diagnosis of this difficulty and points to a cure. In doing so, he delivers the most complete and ambitious statement to date of his own views, a statement that no one concerned with the future of philosophy can afford to ignore. John McDowell amply illustrates a major problem of modern philosophy - the insidious persistence of dualism - in his discussion of empirical thought. Much as we would like to conceive empirical thought as rationally grounded in experience, pitfalls await anyone who tries to articulate this position, and McDowell exposes these, traps by exploiting the work of contemporary philosophers from Wilfrid Sellars to Donald Davidson. These difficulties, he contends, reflect an understandable - but surmountable - failure to see how we might integrate what Sellars calls "the logical space of reasons" into the natural world. What underlies this impasse is a conception of nature that has certain attractions for the modern age, a conception that McDowell proposes to put aside, thus circumventing these philosophical difficulties. By returning to a pre-modern conception of nature but retaining the intellectual advance of modernity that has mistakenly been viewed as dislodging it, he makes room for a fully satisfying conception of experience as a rational openness to independent reality. This approach also overcomes other obstacles that impede a generally satisfying understanding of how we are placed in the world.show more

About John McDowell

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

Table of contents

Preface Introduction Lecture I. Concepts and Intuitions Lecture II. The Unboundedness of the Conceptual Lecture III. Non-conceptual Content Lecture IV. Reason and Nature Lecture V. Action, Meaning, and the Self Lecture VI. Rational and Other Animals Afterword Part I. Davidson in Context Part II. Postscript to Lecture III Part III. Postscript to Lecture V Part IV. Postscript to Lecture VI Indexshow more

Rating details

210 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 44% (93)
4 32% (68)
3 18% (38)
2 4% (9)
1 1% (2)
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