Naturalism and the Space of Reasons in Mind and World

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This paper aims to show that many criticisms of McDowell’s naturalism of second nature are based on what I call ‘the orthodox interpretation’ of McDowell’s naturalism. The orthodox interpretation is, however, a misinterpretation, which results from the fact that the phrase ‘the space of reasons’ is used equivocally by McDowell in Mind and World. Failing to distinguish two senses of ‘the space of reasons’, I argue that the orthodox interpretation renders McDowell’s naturalism inconsistent with McDowell’s Hegelian thesis that the conceptual is unbounded. My interpretation saves McDowell from being inconsistent. However, the upshot of my interpretation is that what is really at work in McDowell’s diagnosis of the dualism between nature and reason is the Hegelian thesis, not the naturalism of second nature.
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Mind and World.McDowell, John
John Mcdowell.Thornton, Tim

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