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Experience and the World's Own LanguageA Critique of John McDowell's Empiricism$
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Richard Gaskin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199287252.001.0001

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Minimal empiricism and the ‘order of justification’

Minimal empiricism and the ‘order of justification’

Chapter:
(p.1) I Minimal empiricism and the ‘order of justification’
Source:
Experience and the World's Own Language
Author(s):

Richard Gaskin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199287252.003.0001

McDowell’s minimal empiricism holds that empirical thought’s directedness at the world is routed essentially via experience. He wants us to conceive experience not as an interface but as a conduit, enabling us to be open to the world. On this conception, experience mediates in both a causal and a normative way between world and mind. However, there are difficulties with a number of his formulations of his position. It is argued that these can be overcome if McDowell is represented as offering a staging-post model according to which causal and normative relations obtain between world and experience on the one hand, and experience and judgement on the other. With that model in place, McDowell thinks we will be able to move to a simpler model in which experience functions as a relation between world and mind, rather than itself a relatum.

Keywords:   minimal empiricism, experience, order of justification, conduit, interface, causation, normativity, mind, world

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