Davidson and Idealism

Adrian Haddock

in Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608553
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729645 | DOI:
 						Davidson and Idealism

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This chapter discusses two charges to the effect that Davidson’s argument against the possibility of radically different conceptual schemes would establish some form of idealism if it was sound. The charges are due to Thomas Nagel and Jonathan Lear. The chapter argues against Nagel’s charge that its soundness would establish a form of idealism which cuts reality down to the size of our concepts, but suggests that there might be justice in Lear’s charge that its soundness would establish transcendental idealism of the form associated not with Kant but—by Lear at least—with Wittgenstein. However, the chapter argues that—somewhat ironically—Davidson would do better to follow the way of Kant, rather than the way of Lear’s Wittgenstein, if he is to realise some of the idealist ambitions which Lear takes him to harbour.

Keywords: Davidson; Kant; Lear; Nagel; Wittgenstein; conceptual schemes; transcendental idealism

Chapter.  6912 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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