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Wittgenstein, Praxeology, and Frege’s Three Realms - page 28 / 30





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proceeds to argue:

Given the identity between what one thinks (when one’s thought is true) and what is the case, to conceive the world as everything that is the case ... is to incorporate the world into what figures in Frege as the realm of sense.39  

If it is a fact that Paris is in France, and if I also believe that Paris is in France, then what I believe is not some ethereal copy of the fact (otherwise my belief would be about an ethereal copy of Paris, not about Paris) but just the fact itself.  Where is this fact? Out there in the physical world, surely – that’s where Paris does its being-in-France.  But also in the mind, since the content of my belief just is that fact and not some copy of it; and again, also in the third realm, because the third realm is precisely the realm of judgeable contents, and that Paris is in France is nothing if not a judgeable content.  Hence we need not have, concerning praxeology, a worry analogous to Aristotle’s worry about Plato’s Forms – namely that praxeology applies only to idealised, abstract actions in the third realm, not to the gritty actions of the real world.  This gritty earth is the third realm:  we live and move and breathe in the third realm, we tread upon its soil, its dust coats our shoes. The third realm forms the warp and woof not just of our thoughts but of physical reality; hence logic’s applicability to reality is nothing mysterious, no ethereal constraint from without – logic’s applicability to reality is just reality being itself.  McDowell has brought the third realm down to earth, naturalised it – or, equally, he has caught the earth up into the third realm, logicised it:  a combined Incarnation and Assumption.

But if the facts “out there” are the very same things as the contents of our judgments and experiences “in here,” doesn’t this commit us to idealism?  McDowell replies:

Now it can seem that this refusal to locate perceptible reality outside the conceptual sphere must be a sort of idealism, in the sense ... that it does not genuinely acknowledge how reality is independent of our thinking. ... [This objection] reflects the

39 Ibid., p. 179.

R. T. Long – Wittgenstein, Praxeology, and Frege’s Three Realms – p. 28

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