, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 197–206 | Cite as

Minimal Empiricism Without Dogmas



John McDowell has defended a position called minimal empiricism, that aims to avoid the oscillation between traditional empiricism’s commitment to a set of contents working as external justifiers for our system of beliefs and a coherentist position where our thought receives no constraint from the world. We share McDowell’s dissatisfaction with both options, but find his minimal empiricism committed to the idea of a tribunal of experience where isolated contents are infused into our network of inferences. This commitment is prone to sceptical attacks and waters down McDowell’s holism. We propose to retain McDowell’s partial re-enchantment of nature—without appealing to McDowell’s Kantian conception of experience—, and argue that it is sufficient to avoid the oscillation and to make sense of the objectivity of thought.


Empiricism Scepticism Holism Objectivity Thought 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Filosofía, Campus Universitário DarcyUniversidade de BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Filosofía, Edificio Facultad de Psicología, Campus de CartujaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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