Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Habermas' 'weak' naturalism and McDowell's non reductive naturalism

The following passage from McDowell helped me a lot in understanding Habermas' weak naturalism. I thought I would share it here:

“Acquiring command of a language, which is coming to inhabit the logical space of reasons, is acquiring a second nature. Given that the space of reasons is special in the way Sellars urges, ideas of phenomena that are manifestations of a second nature acquired in acquiring command of a language do not, as such, fit in the logical space of natural-scientific understanding. But there is no reason why that should rule out seeing those phenomena as manifestations of nature, since the nature in question can be a second nature. Actualizations of conceptual capacities, which as such belong in the logical space of reasons, can be natural in a different sense the one that figures in admittedly well-drawn contrast with the logical space of reasons.” Experiencing the World, p. 7, in John McDowell: Reason and Nature

1 comment:

Brian Burtt said...

Interesting. I'd come to some similar thought of my own, that there's a "logic," for lack of a better word, to the natural world (which, if you think in terms of ethics for instance, gives you something like Hume et. al. moral sentiments, or some of the cooperative imperatives being found by contemporary evolutionary psychologists) and the sort of "symbol logic," what our structuring our social/poltical relations through language requires/entails. I think we run into lots of problems, in our personal and intellectual lives, along the Maginot line where these two worlds or logics meet and battle...

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