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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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Experience and causation

Experience and causation

Chapter:
(p.19) II Experience and causation
Source:
Experience and the World's Own Language
Author(s):

Richard Gaskin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199287252.003.0002

McDowell’s appeal to causation is problematic. In order to make sense of causal relations linking world and experience (or judgement), he has to identify a species of causation that is in the space of reasons — causation that not only brings about, but also rationalizes its effects. But he does not elucidate this notion. In effect, he simply asserts that there is such a species and that there is a place for second nature (nature structured by relations of normativity) in a world otherwise permeated by first nature (nature structured by nomological relations). Mere assertion is not a substitute for an account of what space-of-reasons causation (second nature) is and how it is possible. We need to know how space-of-reasons causation (second nature) relates to and emerged from realm-of-law causation (first nature).

Keywords:   causation, world, experience, space of reasons, first nature, second nature

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