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Experience and the World's Own LanguageA Critique of John McDowell's Empiricism$
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Richard Gaskin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199287252.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

Experience and judgement

Experience and judgement

(p.65) III Experience and judgement
Experience and the World's Own Language

Richard Gaskin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

There are several obstacles in McDowell’s thought to his embracing a conduit conception of experience. The main ones are: the idea that thinkers are free in making observational judgments, the suggestion that subjects are infallible about how things seem to them to be, and the individualistic and intellectualistic construction which McDowell puts upon the ‘order of justification’. The last of these means that McDowell insists that each individual must have self-conscious and articulable access to the propositional contents which justify his or her observational judgements. It is argued that this is a mistake: a subject can have an experience with a particular content even if he, she, or it lacks the mental resources to entertain self-conscious and verbalizable thought about that content, and so lacks the capacity to make the observational judgment which that experience would justify.

Keywords:   experience, freedom, infallibility, individualism, intellectualism, verbalization, order of justification, self-consciousness, judgement

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