The first two parts of Objectivity and Insight explore the prospects for objectivity on the standard ontological conception, and find that they are not good. In Part I, under the heading of subject-driven scepticism, Sacks addresses the problem of securing epistemic reach that extends beyond subjective content. In so doing, he considers models of mind proposed by Locke, Hume, Kant, James, and Bergson. Part II, under the heading of world-driven scepticism, discusses the scope for universality of normative structure-a problem which (...) survives even after the assumption of an epistemologically significant breach between subject and object has been rejected. In the third part of the book Sacks introduces an alternative conception of objectivity, and shows that there is good reason to accept it. This conception turns on an insight which is taken to be implicit in transcendental idealism, and responsible for its abiding appeal; but Sacks's articulation of that insight is neither idealist nor metaphysical. (shrink)
The paper aims to cast light on the kind of proof involved in central transcendental arguments. It is suggested that some of the difficulty associated with such arguments may result from the tendency to construe them simply as articulating relations between concepts or propositional contents. A different construal, connected with phenomenological description, is outlined, as a way of bringing out the force of these arguments. It is suggested that it can be fruitful to think in terms of this construal in (...) understanding some of Kant's transcendental proofs. The recommended construal also helps to understand the nature of the link between transcendental arguments and transcendental idealism. (shrink)
This paper compares the treatment of other minds in Strawson and Sartre. Both discussions are presented here as transcendental arguments, and some striking parallels between them are brought out. However the primary significance of the alignment lies in the difference that emerges between two forms of transcendental proof, with the phenomenological treatment in Sartre promising to yield a stronger conclusion than Strawson's argument. The paper goes some way towards bringing out this difference.
The paper begins by distinguishing between two ways of effecting the dissolution of a philosophical problem: reductive and philosophical. Of these, the former holds out deflationary prospects greater than those of the latter. Attention focuses specifically on McGinn's proposed dissolution of the mind‐body problem. Examination of his argument reveals that his naturalist dissolution involves traditional non‐naturalist constraints, in a way that counts against his deflationary conclusions. At best his treatment constitutes a philosophical, rather than a reductive dissolution. But there is (...) reason to think that it might in fact constitute a mere relocation of what is, essentially, the same problem that it set out to dissolve. (shrink)
Transcendental idealism has been conceived of in philosophy as a position that aims to secure objectivity without traditional metaphysical underpinnings. This article contrasts two forms of transcendental idealism that have been identified: one in the work of Kant, the other in the later Wittgenstein. The distinction between these two positions is clarified by means of a distinction between transcendental constraints and transcendental features. It is argued that these conceptions provide the - fundamentally different - bases of the two positions under (...) discussion. With the core of the positions identified, it is then suggested that neither form of transcendental idealism - the Kantian or the Wittgensteinian - manages to combine the twin aims of safeguarding objectivity and maintaining metaphysical parsimony. The Kantian form appears to succeed on the first score at the cost of failing on the second, while the Wittgensteinian form succeeds on the second and fails on the first. (shrink)
In what follows I will address Kant’s concerns in the First Analogy and in the Refutation of Idealism. Because the two discussions have a similar trajectory, it is of interest to identify some of the differences between them. As we will see, the manifest differences are indicative of more significant underlying differences, regarding two ways of construing transcendental proofs.
This paper is to a large extent an exercise in philosophical geography. It traces the way in which a resilient naturalist orientation has derived support, specifically in the analytic tradition, from a central structuring tenet of transcendental idealism. It attempts to bring out the philosophical reasons that drive this Kantian alliance. Attention then turns to the identification of two salient problems that confront this alliance in its most acceptable form. To the extent that a resilient naturalism is desirable, these problems (...) need to be addressed. (shrink)