HFIA03527U FILO Mind and World

Volume 2013/2014
Master in Philosophy

This course is focused on a reading of John McDowell’s seminal work Mind and World (1994). The book is one of the most hotly debated works within modern analytical philosophy and it continues to generate discussion. Drawing on ideas from classical philosophy (Aristotle), German idealism (Kant and Hegel),  Wittgenstein and the phenomenological tradition (Gadamer) the book presents a philosophical outlook aimed at reconciling our conception of ourselves as natural beings and our conception of ourselves as rational beings responsive to reasons. The arguments of the book build on McDowell’s prior work in philosophy of language, epistemology and meta-ethics and the course will also serve as introduction to these aspects of his work.  We will read the six chapters of Mind and World as well as texts by some of the central figures discussed in these chapters (Sellars, Strawson, Davidson, and Evans). Furthermore we will engage with some of the major critics of McDowell’s philosophy (Crispin Wright, Robert Brandom and Hubert Dreyfus amongst others).

One of McDowell’s basic claims is that we must regard our perception as involving our conceptual capacities if we are to understand how it can provide us with justified beliefs. McDowell’s arguments gave rise to the ongoing debate on the nature of perceptual content (conceptual versus non-conceptual) and the course will serve as an introduction to this central issue in philosophy of perception. Other central questions are: How should we conceive of naturalism? Can we give a naturalistic account of the human mind? How should we conceive of the relation between human consciousness and the consciousness of other animals? We will end by taking a look at the latest development of McDowell’s philosophy and on the debate initiated by Hubert Dreyfus 2005 APA-Address and read material from the book Mind, Reason, and Being-in-the-World: The McDowell-Dreyfus Debate (red. J.K. Schear, Routledge 2013).

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 44,5
  • Total
  • 44,5