• Sentience
    The strangest aspect of John McDowell's philosophy for me is his so called Hegelianism. On the one hand it is clear that he is not Hegelian in the ordinary sense of the term. On the other, he had never clearly said what is generally wrong with Hegel from his point of view. On the contrary, he sustains the opinion about his Hegelianism. All this gives an impression that what he actually keeps in mind is that not he is Hegelian, but rather that Hegel is disjunctivist. But would not that be a reductio ad absurdum of Hegel's philosophy?

    Indeed, if Hegel's actual attitude to the Myth of the Given is disjunctivist from the very start of Phenomenology of Spirit, as McDowell virtually assert, it would make sensless the very development of Spirit which Hegel's philosophy intends to show. But if McDowell wants to say precisely this, why after that to call himself Hegelian? On the other hand, if there is some sense in the development of Spirit, it can only be explained by Hegel's commitment to the Myth of the Given in some form (if we are judging from the point of view of struggle against this myth). The answer would be rather easy one if McDowell had not accentuated that Hegel is NOT committed to the Myth of the Given.
  • Sentience

    Thanks, it is useful book indeed. But preliminary it is already clear that McDowell disagrees with it's author. Thus in a direct response to Paul Redding's article he wrote, for example:

    "Redding suggests that we should frame an understanding of how Hegel diverges from Kant about perceptual experience in terms of a shift from an epistemological to a metaphysical focus, specifcally one that centres on modality, and in particular on actuality. But it strikes me as implausible that Hegel would discourage an epistemological orientation in considering perceptual experience. I need not object to Redding’s claim that Hegel’s most fundamental project is to set out a metaphysics that is directed to a comprehensive account of actuality. But that need not imply that Hegel would dissent from this idea: an account of perception must be an account of a capacity for knowledge (of the second-grade kind that empirical, as opposed to philosophical, knowledge is), and so cannot but be epistemologically oriented.

    I do not believe perception, and the experience that subserves perceptual knowledge, are even a topic for the Science of Logic, where Redding looks for a Hegelian insight that can be applied to perception and fnds it in the idea of a Satz. Hegel’s thought about perceptual experience is to be found not in the Logic but in the Realphilosophie that in a certain sense applies it, elaborating the self-actualization of the Idea; in particular in the philosophy of Spirit. And I believe Hegel’s conception of perception as a capacity for knowledge, as it emerges in the Philosophy of Subjective Spirit, is not fundamentally different from Kant’s." (McDowell and Hegel, 2018 P. 241-242)

    All this supports the above thesis of Hegel as disjunctivist and makes the place of the development of Spirit in this picture along with McDowell's deliberate deviation from Hegelianism (or Hegel's from disjunctivism) obscure.
  • Joshs
    I can't help you here. I haven t read McDowell in 10 years. I'm more of a Rorty guy as far as the analytic post-analytic side of things is concerned. mainly my interests are continental philosophy and enactive embodied cognitive science. i find McDowell to be a bit backward retative to these perspectives.
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