My book Perception and Reality

My book Perception and Reality in Kant, Husserl, and McDowell was published early 2020 with Routledge.

The book focuses on John McDowell’s ‘transcendental’ concern with perceptual access to reality, in relation to the accounts of Kant and Husserl in dealing with the same topic. I focus mostly on (i) conceptualism as a thesis about the contents of perception, and (ii) disjunctivism, as a response to the (Cartesian) threat of idealism.

Loosely speaking, the book argues that McDowell’s transcendental concern – namely with the very possibility of directedness at reality – was dealt with in very similar ways in the German transcendental tradition, particularly regarding (ii). Moreover, it should yield, through the exploration of the philosophies of perception of Husserl and Kant, a number of new critical reflections, particularly regarding (i).

I’m excited to have this come out, and I hope it will shed new light on a less frequently discussed ‘transcendental’ dimension of McDowell’s thought. Also, by connecting this to key figures of the transcendental tradition, I think it contributes to uncovering a continuing tradition that underlies what may today seem to be distinct scholarly fields.  

Perception and Reality in Kant, Husserl, and McDowell will appeal to scholars and advanced students working in the history of philosophy, phenomenology, Kantian philosophy, and in particular the philosophy of perception. It will appear in Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy.

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