Conceptualism and the New Myth of the Given

Synthese 175 (1):101-122 (2010)
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The motivation for McDowell’s conceptualism is an epistemological consideration. McDowell believes conceptualism would guarantee experience a justificatory role in our belief system and we can then avoid the Myth of the Given without falling into coherentism. Conceptualism thus claims an epistemological advantage over nonconceptualism. The epistemological advantage of conceptualism is not to be denied. But both Sellars and McDowell insist experience is not belief. This makes it impossible for experience to justify empirical knowledge, for the simple reason that what is not a belief cannot justify a belief. Nondoxastic experience, though conceptual, is still a Given. And what conceptualism gives us can only be a New Myth of the Given



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Refeng Tang
Beijing Normal University

References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Mind and World.John Henry McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Empiricism and the philosophy of mind.Wilfrid Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
The philosophical writings of Descartes.René Descartes - 1984 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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