2nd Edition

John McDowell

By Tim Thornton Copyright 2019
    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    John McDowell is one of the most widely read philosophers in recent years. His engagement with a philosophy of language, mind and ethics and with philosophers ranging from Aristotle and Wittgenstein to Hegel and Gadamer make him one of the most original and outstanding philosophical thinkers of the post-war period.

    In this clear and engaging book, Tim Thornton introduces and examines the full range of McDowell's thought. After a helpful introduction setting out McDowell's general view of philosophy, Thornton introduces and explains the following topics:

    • Wittgenstein on philosophy, normativity and understanding;
    • value judgements;
    • theories of meaning and sense;
    • singular thought and Cartesianism;
    • perceptual experience and knowledge, disjunctivism and openness to the world;
    • Mind and World, the content of perceptual experience and idealism;
    • action and the debate with Hubert Dreyfus on conceptual content and skilled coping.

    This second edition has been significantly revised and expanded to include new sections on: McDowell's work on disjunctivism and criticisms of it; a new chapter on McDowell's modification of his account of perceptual experience and conceptual content, and criticisms by Charles Travis; and a new chapter on action and McDowell's engagement with Hubert Dreyfus and the debate concerning skilled coping and mindedness.

    The addition of a glossary and suggestions for further reading makes John McDowell, second edition essential reading for those studying McDowell, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, ethics and epistemology, as well as for students of the recent history of analytical philosophy generally.



    1. Wittgenstein on philosophy, normativity and understanding

    2. Value judgements

    3. Formal theories of meaning and theories of sense

    4. Singular thought and the Cartesian picture of mind

    5. Experience, knowledge and openness to the world

    6. Mind and World and perceptual experience

    7. Action, intention and embodied coping

    8. Perceptual content after Mind and World

    9. Guide to further reading.





    Tim Thornton is Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He is the author of Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry (2007), Wittgenstein on Language and Thought (1998), co-author of the Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry (2006) and Tacit Knowledge (2013), and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry (2013).