The Natural and the Normative [Book Review]

Philosophical Review 106 (3):432-434 (1997)
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I said that the book is brilliant. This is not so much because of the conclusions eventually reached about the inadequacy of a purely naturalistic approach to mind. These conclusions are already familiar in the work of Donald Davidson and others. Rather, it is because of the accumulation of historical detail and insight on the basis of which these conclusions are reached. It is often said, for instance, that Kant is a watershed figure, in some sense synthesizing and then moving beyond both empiricism and naturalism. Hatfield uses these terms. But he reinvests them with meaning and energy and in the process shows how radical Kant was in refocusing, by way of a sharp distinction between empirical and transcendental inquiries, the central questions of philosophy.



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