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Kenneth Westphal

Contemporary Epistemology: Kant, Hegel, McDowell

McDowell and I agree that (1) we need a socio-historically grounded epistemological realism; (2) Kant’s and Hegel’s theories of knowledge are of extraordinary contemporary importance because they contribute so much to understanding how a realist account of human knowledge can recognize the deep and pervasive socio-historical dimensions of human knowledge; and (3) twentieth century epistemology has greatly impoverished itself by neglecting or misunderstanding Kant’s and Hegel’s epistemologies. Recently McDowell (2003) revisited Kant’s and Hegel’s views in order to ‘retrace, more carefully’ some of his remarks about them in Mind and World. I focus on McDowell’s recent statement. I argue that McDowell has not yet plumbed the core issues and views of Kant’s and Hegel’s epistemologies, and consequently has not yet recognized those aspects of their views that are most important for his own epistemological project. These include: The Co-extensiveness of Understanding and Sensibility (§2), Identity and Predication (§3), Objective Purport and Kant’s Transcendental Deduction (§4), and Proving Mental Content Externalism Transcendentally (§5).