Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 423–431 | Cite as

Joseph K. Schear (ed.), Mind, Reason, and Being-in-the-World: The McDowell-Dreyfus Debate.

Routledge, 2013, 350 pp., ISBN 9780415485876
  • Andrew BuskellEmail author


“Understanding”, wrote John Haugeland, “is the mark of the human.”1 What Haugeland means by this, I take it, is that we human beings are remarkable among creatures in our capacity to navigate and interact with an intelligible world. This kind of understanding can be seen in “cooking and love-making” and in “dancing, driving, and pronunciation.”2 It is demonstrated in the distinctively human intelligent and affective engagement with the world, a world that stands against us – one that can frustrate or facilitate our interactions with it.

Haugeland’s ‘understanding’ thus attempts to wed two distinct pictures of agency: one coming from the transcendental tradition within philosophy; the other, the acceptance of naturalism and the recognition of our status as evolved organisms. The transcendental tradition (at least) attempts to account for and explain the structures that allow for our interactions with an intelligible world, while the naturalistic picture attempts to situate us as...


  1. Haugeland, J. (1998). Having Thought. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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