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Giving a DamnEssays in Dialogue with John Haugeland$
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Zed Adams and Jacob Browning

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035248

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035248.001.0001

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Two Dogmas of Rationalism

Two Dogmas of Rationalism

Chapter:
(p.293) 10 Two Dogmas of Rationalism
Source:
Giving a Damn
Author(s):

John Haugeland

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262035248.003.0011

In this previously unpublished essay, Haugeland aims to “expose two covert ‘dogmas’—tendentious yet invisible assumptions—that underlie rationalist thought, both modern and contemporary.” The dogmas are “positivism,” the claim that the world is composed entirely of facts, and “cognitivism,” the claim that the mind is exhausted by the rational intellect. Haugeland argues that both of these dogmas force rationalism into a limited understanding of the mind and world. But the dogmas also prevent rationalism from recognizing the distinctively human capacities to disclose the truth in truly novel and unforeseen ways. Haugeland argues that the blinders of rationalism inevitably distort the profound importance of areas such as love, integrity, and commitment in the development of our social, romantic, and scientific practices. In addition to being a response to the work of the Pittsburgh School of Philosophy more broadly, it also offers a unique contribution to current debates concerning alethic modality.

Keywords:   Cognitivism, Positivism, Rationalism, Pittsburgh School, Robert Brandom, John McDowell, Kant, Science, Commitment

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