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A SENSE OF OCCASION

Authors


email: c-travis@northwestern.edu

Abstract

A continuous Oxford tradition on knowledge runs from John Cook Wilson to John McDowell. A central idea is that knowledge is not a species of belief or that, in McDowell's terms, it is not a hybrid state; that, moreover, it is a kind of taking in of what is there that precludes one's being, for all one can see, wrong. Cook Wilson and McDowell differ on what this means as to the scope of knowledge. J.L. Austin set out the requisite foundations for McDowell to be right. McDowell has shown why the tradition, and his version of it, need to be right. But he does not accept Austin's innovation. That is a shame. For, despite McDowell's very great insightfulness, precisely that much separates him from a very powerful, and correct, view of what knowledge is.

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