This overview and critical assessment of the work of the influential contemporary philosopher, John McDowell, aims to provide students with an intellectual primer for reading McDowell. The text also offers a critical framework that should help shape the ongoing debates surrounding McDowell's work, and introduce to students the intersection of philosophy of thought and language, epistemology and metaphysics on which he focuses. The text examines the detailed work McDowell has carried out on Wittgenstein's discussion of normativity, ethical judgements, theories of sense, meaning and truth, and the role of experience in epistemology. The final chapter explores how these individual projects are unified in a post-Kantian framework that articulates the preconditions of thought and language, and suggests ways in which this synthesis may not be completely successful.
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Tim Thornton is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Warwick and the author of Wittgenstein on Language and Thought.Review:
"Tim Thornton has not only written a fine introduction to McDowell's philosophy, but also made a valuable contribution to the professional literature." - The Philosophers' Magazine "Excellent - subtle, illuminating, sophisticated - I would recommend it to any professional." - Mind "a valuable work [that] will contribute to advanced debates about McDowell's works, as well as helping students who are as yet unfamiliar with his challenging, and sometimes opaquely-formulated, but deeply stimulating and humane essays." - Philosophical Investigations
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