•  1032
    I—Meaning, Understanding and Normativity
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1): 127-146. 2012.
    I defend the normativity of meaning against recent objections by arguing for a new interpretation of the ‘ought’ relevant to meaning. Both critics and defenders of the normativity thesis have understood statements about how an expression ought to be used as either prescriptive or semantic. I propose an alternative view of the ‘ought’ as conveying the primitively normative attitudes speakers must adopt towards their uses if they are to use the expression with understanding.
  •  760
    Kant and the problem of experience
    Philosophical Topics 34 (1/2): 59-106. 2006.
    As most of its readers are aware, the Critique of Pure Reason is primarily concerned not with empirical, but with a priori knowledge. For the most part, the Kant of the first Critique tends to assume that experience, and the knowledge that is based on it, is unproblematic. The problem with which he is concerned is that of how we can be capable of substantive knowledge independently of experience. At the same time, however, the notion of experience plays a crucial role in the central arguments of …Read more
  •  719
    I argue that Stroud's nonreductionism about meaning is insufficiently motivated. First, given that he rejects the assumption that grasp of an expression's meaning guides or instructs us in its use, he has no reason to accept Kripke's arguments against dispositionalism or related reductive views. Second, his argument that reductive views are impossible because they attempt to explain language “from outside” rests on an equivocation between two senses in which an explanation of language can be fro…Read more
  •  568
    Anandi Hattiangadi packs a lot of argument into this lucid, well-informed and lively examination of the meaning scepticism which Kripke ascribes to Wittgenstein. Her verdict on the success of the sceptical considerations is mixed. She concludes that they are sufficient to rule out all accounts of meaning and mental content proposed so far. But she believes that they fail to constitute, as Kripke supposed they did, a fully general argument against the possibility of meaning or content. Even though…Read more
  •  481
    Reasons for Belief
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2). 2006.
    Davidson claims that nothing can count as a reason for a belief except another belief. This claim is challenged by McDowell, who holds that perceptual experiences can count as reasons for beliefs. I argue that McDowell fails to take account of a distinction between two different senses in which something can count as a reason for belief. While a non-doxastic experience can count as a reason for belief in one of the two senses, this is not the sense which is presupposed in Davidson's claim. While…Read more
  •  459
    Kant's Perceiver
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1): 221-228. 2013.
  •  244
    Was Kant a nonconceptualist?
    Philosophical Studies 137 (1). 2008.
    I criticize recent nonconceptualist readings of Kant’s account of perception on the grounds that the strategy of the Deduction requires that understanding be involved in the synthesis of imagination responsible for the intentionality of perceptual experience. I offer an interpretation of the role of understanding in perceptual experience as the consciousness of normativity in the association of one’s representations. This leads to a reading of Kant which is conceptualist, but in a way which acco…Read more
  •  242
    Kant's aesthetics and teleology
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    While Kant is perhaps best known for his writings in metaphysics and epistemology (in particular the Critique of Pure Reason of 1781, with a second edition in 1787) and in ethics (the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals of 1785 and the Critique of Practical Reason of 1788), he also developed an influential and much-discussed theory of aesthetics. This theory is presented in his Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft, also translated as Critique of the Power of Judgment) of 1790, a two…Read more
  •  201
    Aesthetic judgment and perceptual normativity
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (5). 2006.
    I draw a connection between the question, raised by Hume and Kant, of how aesthetic judgments can claim universal agreement, and the question, raised in recent discussions of nonconceptual content, of how concepts can be acquired on the basis of experience. Developing an idea suggested by Kant's linkage of aesthetic judgment with the capacity for empirical conceptualization, I propose that both questions can be resolved by appealing to the idea of "perceptual normativity". Perceptual experience,…Read more
  •  182
    Perception, generality, and reasons
    In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief, Cambridge University Press. pp. 131--57. 2011.
    During the last fifteen years or so there has been much debate, among philosophers interested in perception, on the question of whether the representational content of perceptual experience is conceptual or nonconceptual. Recently, however, a number of philosophers have challenged the terms of this debate, arguing that one of its most basic assumptions is mistaken. Experience, they claim, does not have representational content at all. On the kind of approach they suggest, having a perceptual exp…Read more
  •  181
    Empirical concepts and the content of experience
    European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3): 349-372. 2006.
    The view that the content of experience is conceptual is often felt to conflict with the empiricist intuition that experience precedes thought, rather than vice versa. This concern is explicitly articulated by Ayers as an objection both to McDowell and Davidson, and to the conceptualist view more generally. The paper aims to defuse the objection in its general form by presenting a version of conceptualism which is compatible with empiricism. It proposes an account of observational concepts on wh…Read more
  •  163
    In a well-known passage from the Introduction to Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Kant defines the power or faculty of judgment [Urteilskraft] as "the capacity to think the particular as contained under the universal" (Introduction IV, 5:179).1 He then distinguishes two ways in which this faculty can be exercised, namely as determining or as reflecting. These two ways are defined as follows: "If the universal (the rule, the principle, the law) is given, then judgment, which subsumes the particular u…Read more
  •  152
    The article surveys Kant’s treatment of biological teleology in the ’Critique of Judgment’, with special attention to the question of whether the notion of natural teleology is coherent. It argues that our entitlement to regard nature as teleological is not established by the argument of the ’Antinomy’, but rather results from our entitlement to regard the workings of our own cognitive faculties in normative terms. This implies a view of the relation between biological teleology and the represen…Read more
  •  141
    Aesthetic judging and the intentionality of pleasure
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 46 (2). 2003.
    I point out some unclarities in Allison's interpretation of Kant's aesthetic theory, specifically in his account of the free play of the faculties. I argue that there is a tension between Allison's commitment to the intentionality of the pleasure involved in a judgment of beauty, and his view that the pleasure is distinct from the judgment, and I claim that the tension should be resolved by rejecting the latter view. I conclude by addressing Allison's objection that my own view fails to accommod…Read more
  •  125
    Two kinds of mechanical inexplicability in Kant and Aristotle
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (1): 33-65. 2004.
    I distinguish two senses in which organisms are mechanically inexplicable for Kant. Mechanical inexplicability in the first sense is shared with artefacts, and consists in their exhibiting regularities irreducible to the regularities of matter. Mechanical inexplicability in the second sense is peculiar to organisms, consisting in the reciprocal causal dependence of an organism's parts. This distinction corresponds to two strands of thought in Aristotle, one supporting a teleological conception o…Read more
  •  47
    L’idée d’un jugement [Urteil], et du pouvoir de juger [Vermögen zu urteilen], joue un rôle cardinal dans l’argumentation de la Critique de la raison pure. L’argument central de la première Critique vise à montrer comment les concepts purs de l’entendement peuvent s’appliquer aux objets qui nous sont donnés dans l’expérience. Cet argument dépend de l’idée que l’expérience n’est pas l’affaire de la sensibilité à elle seule, mais qu’elle implique, dès le début, le concours de l’entendement. Or, l’e…Read more
  •  41
  •  28
    Wittgenstein on Going On
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1): 1-17. 2020.
    In a famous passage from the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein describes a pupil who has been learning to write out various sequences of numbers in response to orders such as “+1” and “+2”. He has shown himself competent for numbers up to 1000, but when we have him continue the “+2” sequence beyond 1000, he writes the numerals 1004, 1008, 1012. As Wittgenstein describes the case: We say to him, “Look what you’re doing!” — He doesn’t understand us. We say “You should have added two; look…Read more
  •  20
    In Defence of the One-Act View: Reply to Guyer
    British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (4): 421-435. 2017.
    I defend my ‘one-act’ interpretation of Kant’s account of judgments of beauty against recent criticisms by Paul Guyer. Guyer’s text-based arguments for his own ‘two-acts’ view rely on the assumption that a claim to the universal validity of one’s pleasure presupposes the prior existence of the pleasure. I argue that pleasure in the beautiful claims its own universal validity, thus obviating the need to distinguish two independent acts of judging. The resulting view, I argue, is closer to the tex…Read more
  •  16
    Synopsis
    British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (4): 383-387. 2016.
    GinsborgHannah, The Normativity of Nature: Essays on Kant’s Critique of Judgement, Oxford: OUP, 2015. pp. 376. £25.
  •  13
    Empirical Concepts and the Content of Experience
    European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3): 349-372. 2006.
  •  13
    Empiricism and Normative Constraint
    In Johan Gersel, Rasmus Thybo Jensen, Morten S. Thaning & Morten Overgaard (eds.), In the Light of Experience: New Essays on Perception and Reasons, Oxford University Press. pp. 101-136. 2018.
  •  12
    Two Debates about Absolute Music
    British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (1): 77-80. 2017.
    Mark Evan Bonds makes a distinction between two concepts of absolute music: as repertory, and as ‘regulative concept’. This paper explores the distinction, and distinguishes further two debates associated with these two concepts: one about the value of absolute music in the repertory sense, the other about the extent to which music is ‘absolute’ in the sense of lacking expressive or representational content. It ends with a proposal about how reflection on the first debate can help provide a reso…Read more
  •  8
    Replies to My Critics
    British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (4): 409-419. 2016.
    I am grateful to the commentators for their sympathetic and thoughtful attention to my work. The questions and objections they raise go to the heart of my project, and, while it has been rewarding to work through them, it has not been easy to respond to them. For reasons of space, I have not been able to address every point raised, but I have tried to respond to those which I find most challenging.
  •  7
    First published in 1990. This title, originally a Ph. D. dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University in July 1988, grew out of an interest in the foundations of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Believing that the idea of the primacy of judgment was an important one for understanding more recent issues in analytic philosophy, the author started to think about its historical antecedents. By examining Kant’s _Critique of Judgement_, Ginsborg explores the notio…Read more
  •  7
    Purposiveness and Normativity
    Proceedings of the Eighth International Kant Congress 2 453-460. 1995.