John Henry McDowell (born 1942) is a South African philosopher, formerly a fellow of University College, Oxford and now University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Although he has written extensively on metaphysics, epistemology, ancient philosophy, and meta-ethics, McDowell's most influential work has been in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. McDowell was one of three recipients of the 2010 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Distinguished Achievement Award.
McDowell has, throughout his career, understood philosophy to be "therapeutic" and thereby to "leave everything as it is", which he understands to be a form of philosophical quietism (although he does not consider himself to be a "quietist"). The philosophical quietist believes that philosophy cannot make any explanatory comment about how, for example, thought and talk relate to the world but can, by offering re-descriptions of philosophically problematic cases, return the confused philosopher to a state of intellectual quietude. However, in defending this quietistic perspective McDowell has engaged with the work of leading contemporaries in such a way as to both therapeutically dissolve what he takes to be philosophical error, while developing original and distinctive theses about language, mind and value. In each case, he has tried to resist the influence of what he regards as a misguided, reductive form of philosophical naturalism that dominates the work of his contemporaries, particularly in North America.
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... John McDowell (born 1942) is a South African philosopher ... John McDowell may also refer to John McDowell (American football) (born 1942), American football player John McDowell (bishop) (1956– ), Bishop of Clogher in the Church of Ireland ... McDowell (1853–1927), American politician from Ohio John Bernard McDowell (1921–2010), auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania John G ...
... Award, 2010 Honorary degree, University of Chicago, 2008 Delivered the 1991 John Locke Lectures in Philosophy, Oxford University Woodbridge Lectures ...
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“Whither goest thou?”
—Bible: New Testament Peter, in John, 13:36.
The words, which are repeated in John 16:5, are best known in the Latin form in which they appear in the Vulgate: Quo vadis? Jesus replies, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.