The Engaged Intellect: Philosophical Essays

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Harvard University Press, 2009 - Philosophy - 343 pages

The Engaged Intellect collects important essays of John McDowell. Each involves a sustained engagement with the views of an important philosopher and is characterized by a modesty that is partly temperamental and partly methodological. It is typical of McDowell to represent his own best insights either as already to be found in the writings of his heroes (Aristotle, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, and Sellars) or as inevitably emerging from a charitable modification of the views of those (such as Anscombe, Sellars, Davidson, Evans, Rorty, Dreyfus, and Brandom) subjected here to criticism. McDowell therefore develops his own philosophical picture in these pages through a method of indirection. The method is one of intervening in a philosophical dialectic at a characteristic juncture—in which it is difficult to avoid the feeling that further progress is required. McDowell shows how progress is to be achieved by preserving what is most attractive in the views of those he is in conversation with, while whittling away their weaknesses. As he practices this method, what emerges through the volume is the unity of McDowell's own views. The combination of philosophical breadth with dialectical depth—of intricate argumentative detail with overall philosophical coherence—marks McDowell as one of the most compelling philosophers of our time.

 

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Contents

Falsehood and NotBeing in Platos Sophist
3
Eudaimonism and Realism in Aristotles Ethics
23
Aristotles Ethics
41
Incontinence and Practical Wisdom in Aristotle
59
Are Meaning Understanding etc Definite States?
79
SchemeContent Dualism and Empiricism
115
Gadamer and Davidson on Understanding
134
Subjective Intersubjective Objective
152
Themes from Mind and World Revisited
241
Experiencing the World
243
Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind
257
Responses to Brandom and Dreyfus
277
Knowledge and the Internal Revisited
279
Comments on Chapter 2 of Making It Explicit
288
What Myth?
308
Response to Dreyfus
324

Reference Objectivity and Knowledge
161
Evanss Frege
163
Referring to Oneself
186
Towards Rehabilitating Objectivity
204
The Disjunctive Conception of Experience as Material for a Transcendental Argument
225
Bibliography
331
Credits
339
Index
341
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About the author (2009)

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

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