John McDowell's Mind and World has, since its publication in 1994, become a seminal text, putting forward many new ideas on the manner in which concepts mediate the relation between minds and the world. Yet McDowell's ideas are not easy to comprehend. In this book Sandra Dingli both elaborates and simplifies McDowell's ideas in order to give greater clarity to them and to assist in the understanding and appreciation of his work. Dingli selects five particular contemporary philosophical topics which McDowell deals with and investigates in detail the implications of particular points of view, analysing the current literature on each topic and drawing out shortcomings and possibilities for overcoming them. This work is, then, both a critique and complement to McDowell's text. McDowell's project is to dissolve a number of dualisms such as sensibility and understanding, conceptual and non conceptual content, scheme and content, and reason and nature. Dingli critically analyses each of these and claims that a proper understanding of the philosophical method of quietism is important for a correct understanding of this text, concluding that McDowell does not go far enough in his attempt to attain peace for philosophy as traditional dichotomies such as that of realism and anti-realism still appear to exert a grip on his thinking.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; On thinking and the world; Kantian control on our thinking; Can we do without non-conceptual content?; The third dogma of empiricism; Reason and nature; Realism and anti-realism; McDowell's quietism; Bibliography; Index.
Dr Sandra M. Dingli is from The Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the University of Malta, Malta.