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Reading McDowell: On Mind and World

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415212137
ISBN-10: 0415212138
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Editorial Reviews


'the papers in this collection are of consistently very high quality, critical of some integral component of McDowell’s thought, and are philosophically persuasive.' Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author

Nicholas Smith is Lecturer in Philosophy at Macquarie University. He is the author of Strong Hermeneutics (Routledge, 1997) and Charles Taylor (2002).

Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (August 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415212138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415212137
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Flounder on September 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This anthology is as exciting and interesting as McDowell's M and W; Stroud's Quest; Crary's The New Wittgenstein; and Brewer's Perception and Reason. This anthology contains new material from some top-flight folks in the field.
M and W is an important text; it engages, as very few contemporary philosophy of mind texts have, the serious and neglected dualisms of conceptual scheme and empirical content; spontaneity and receptivity, which are, needless to say, Kantian concerns. McDowell is a proponent of conceptual content (within the realm of a 'minimal empiricism') and appeals to Kant and Wittgenstein to buttress his descriptive approach to philosophical inquiry. M and W has some brillant and evocative insights (with more than a few expensive obscurities), and some of McDowell's metaphors are splendid indeed, such as the teetering 'seesaw' and the 'sideways on picture.' Of course, it attempts to negotiate Kantian insights concerning human cognition with certain contemporary discussions on the Myth of the Given (Sellars), The Third Dogma (Davidson)and the Tribunal of Experience (Quine), and Rorty's attack on epistemology.
This anthology could offer disenchanted graduate students a reason to complete doctoral studies in philosophy. It is that rich and exciting. I am seriously nervous with glee (nerd alert!).
The most important and interesting articles here are: M. Friedman, "Exorcising the Philosophical Tradition" (previously published); R. Pippin, "Leaving Nature Behind" (on subjectivism); B. Stroud, "Sense Experience and the Grounding of Thought" (always a pleasure to read Barry); R. Brandom, "Non-Inferential Knowledge, Perceptual Experience..."; G. McCulloch, "Phenomenological Externalism" (see A. Brueckner and/or K. Falvey on this topic); H. Putnam, "McD's Mind and McD's World" (also see his Three-Fold Cord on McD and his soon to be released UW lectures from Columbia UP); C. Larmore, "Attending to Reasons."
This is my highest recommendation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Herbert Huber on October 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
John McDowell's "Mind and World" is a truly illuminating work as anyone will agree who has read it or followed the intense debate the book has aroused ever since it hit the market.

A discussion this thorough is an indication that the subject the book deals with is highly complex. To understand it better you may have to read it twice or even more often, attend a few seminars,or study "Reading McDowell", edited by Nicholas H. Smith.

This will help you gain more insights into McDowell's thoughts.The fourteen essays (Crispin Wright has contributed two) cover many facets of "Mind and World" and put them into very different perspectives. They let you compare your interpretation with the points of view of these philosophers: Richard J. Bernstein, Michael Friedman, Robert B. Pippin, Barry Stroud, Robert Brandom,Charles Taylor, Gregory McCulloch, Crispin Wright, Hilary Putnam,Charles Larmore, Rüdiger Bubner, Jay M. Bernstein, Axel Honneth. All these essays are of high quality and sometimes critical. This induces the reader of "Reading McDowell" to reread "Mind and World" once more. In the last part, John McDowell responds to all the essays. Maybe it is not fair to highlight any of the contributions over others, but I found the ones by Barry Stroud and Crispin Wright the most helpful.

I recommend "Reading McDowell" highly for everyone interested in epistemology and the philosophy of mind.
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