Animality and Rationality (On how John McDowell's Kantian view of moral experience could accommodate research on emotion)

Sofia Miguens


My main goal in this article is methodological: I want to spell out how a Kantian perspective could accommodate current empirical work on cognition, and in particular on emotion. Having chosen John McDowell as a guide, I try to characterize his view of moral experience and underline its Kantian traits (McDowell 1998a, 1998b, 1998c, 1998d, 1998e, 1998f). I start by identifying the conception of freedom as exemplified in the rational wolf thought experiment in Two Forms of Naturalismas the main Kantian trait. I then go through the characterization of two other crucial aspects of our moral experience – (responsiveness to) reasons and value. I suggest that McDowell’s approach to moral experience, although not itself strictly Kantian in all of its details, is an instance of a transformative view of rationality, as defended by Matthew Boyle (Boyle 2016) and that such transformative view is the key to accommodate empirical research on cognition within a Kantian perspective.



Palabras clave

McDowell; Kantian perspective; emotion; rationality; transformative view

Texto completo:



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