Reply to Hookway

McGinn, Marie (2003) Reply to Hookway. Metaphilosophy, 34(1-2). pp. 97-105. ISSN 1467-9973

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Frege takes the view that “like ethics, logic can also be called a normative science.” The parallel that he detects depends upon his commitment to the idea of objective constraints on thought and action, against which particular acts or particular pieces of reasoning can be judged. The point of the comparison is to get us to see that logic is not an empirical science, concerned with laws of thought in a psychological sense; rather, the laws of logic are ‘prescriptions for making judgement’. Hookway also detects a parallel, but it prompts him to move in the opposite direction: the point of the parallel is to bring us to appreciate the role of human emotional responses in our ordinary cognitive assessments of the truth of propositions, the soundness of inferences, the relevance of doubts, the appropriateness of questions, and so on. He argues that appreciation of this point enables us to solve some central epistemological problems, in particular, the problem of epistemological scepticism. I argue that Hookway shows, at best, that without our emotional convictions, our ordinary practices could not get off the ground, but that this, on its own, does not amount to a satisfying reply to the sceptic.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Philosophy (former - to 2014)
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 13:57
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 14:30
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9973.00262

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