<b>Experience and judgement</b>

Richard Gaskin

in Experience and the World's Own Language

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780199287253
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603969 | DOI:
 Experience and judgement

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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

Chapter.  25975 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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