Heidegger, the Given, and the Second Nature of Entities

Graham Bounds 1
  • 1 University of New, Mexico, USA

Abstract

In this paper I draw from Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of the 1920s to outline some basic features of his theory of intentionality that I believe have not been fully appreciated or utilized, and that allow for both novel and fruitful interventions in questions about meaning, the relationship between mind and the world, and epistemic justification, principally as they appear in John McDowell’s synoptic project in Mind and World. I argue that while elements of McDowell’s picture are ultimately unsatisfying and problematic, much of his conceptual framework can and should be put into dialogue with Heidegger’s, and that in so doing we make available powerful resources for amending the McDowellian account. Moreover, these emendations have attractive implications for his distinctive desiderata. In particular, they provide original conceptions of normativity’s place in nature, of the boundaries of the space of reasons, and of the relationship between the answerability of thought both to the world and to human beings as a rational community.

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