McDowell responds alternatively by defending the conceptual nature of skillful coping, claiming with the help of some very unique Kantian interpretation, that the conceptual is ‘unbounded’.
I argue that while McDowell is correct concerning the pervasively conceptual nature of experience, Dreyfus is right to insist in the importance of our skillful and unreflective bodily practices. Dreyfus, however, misunderstands the relationship between coping and conceptuality, and therefore, is unable to work out how we go from unreflective action to a reflective, self- critical stance towards the world. This leaves him with a problematic dualism in his vision of human being.
McDowell, on the other hand, lacks the phenomenological tools to explain his claim that conceptual capacities are always operational even in unreflective activity. I argue that explaining this premise will pave the way forward towards a resolution of the dispute. Specifically, I argue that a reconstruction of the Kantian notion of intuition –through the lens of the reading inaugurated by Wilfrid Sellars and followed to an extent by John McDowell–, will set the stage for a more careful analysis of reflective and unreflective experience. Ultimately, I claim that possessing conceptual capacities –no less than having action- oriented bodies– shapes the content and nature of human perception.
Santiago Parra Jiménez
Estudiante del Doctorado en Filosofía
Universidad de los Andes