Crispin Wright discussing McDowell’s Mind and World:
…if analytical philosophy demands self-consciousness about unexplained or only partially explained terms of art, formality and explicitness in the setting out of argument, and the clearest possible sign-posting and formulation of assumptions, targets, and goals, etc, then this is not a work of analytical philosophy (“Human Nature? in Reading McDowell, 157-158)
Zing. In their article, “Postanalytic Philosophy: Overcoming the Divide?,” (in Postanalytic and Metacontinental: Crossing the Divide) Duke et al. suggest that McDowell, along with Wittgenstein, Rorty and Davidson may be considered ‘crossover’ figures because their work promotes increased dialogue between analytic and continental thinkers. The case of McDowell is interesting:
McDowell’s early work within analytical philosophy was known only to a small group of professional philosophers working within the Anglo-American tradition.
To establish this the authors did a database search:
A search of Philosophers Index reveals that 26 of 28 refereed articles engaging in detail with the work of McDowell up until the publication of Mind and World were published in analytic journals or collections (note 46)
The authors continue:
The publication of Mind and World, however, introduced McDowell’s thought to a broader philosophical public, leading to increased citation of his work by analytic and continental scholars. McDowell’s work has inspired interest from continental interpreters over the problematic character of naturalism and the status of second nature, the status of transcendental arguments and on the proper interpretation of Kant and Hegel (16-17).
Here are the stats, based on a baseline of 81, 134 articles from 1994-2008, 162 articles focused on McDowell: Analytic: 72, Continental: 16, Crossover: 74. Based on this, the authors remark:
…even though there is evidence that McDowell’s work is discussed by both philosophical traditions, a preliminary cross-citation check once again yields little proof of substantial cross-traditional engagement. This suggests that while analytical and continental interpreters deal with McDowell’s thought, in many cases they approach his work from sufficiently different perspectives to render his status of a crossover figure somewhat ambiguous.
Right. The evidence doesn’t seem to point towards much of a rapprochement between the two camps, nor does it seem like there is much crossover since McDowell resonates very differently in each tradition, which isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t bode well for a deflationary take on all of this. Are there other potential “crossover” figures besides those mentioned above? Perhaps Hilray Putnam may be construed as a “crossover” figure?