One of the most important philosophical debates in the last 20 years revolves around the question how experience can justify our judgments concerning the world. In this context, philosophers like John McDowell have revived the Kantian idea of transcendental philosophy which explains how objective knowledge of the world is possible. This debate has generated a number of different proposals, including Dreyfus’ objection (which he calls the “Myth of the Mental”) that McDowell’s picture of a conceptualizing mind which makes possible our openness to the world is too intellectualist and ignores the “phenomenology of bodily coping.” Arguing along these lines, Dreyfus urges analytic philosophers, working on the “upper stories of the building of knowledge,” to unite with phenomenologists who do their work on the “basement” and the “ground floor.”
In my talk I will argue that a phenomenological approach to the transcendental problem of mind and world has to offer much more to offer than just examining “ground levels.” Dreyfus, quite bluntly, draws a dichotomic distinction between “phenomenologists” and “conceptualists” which rather points to assumptions allowing for this dichotomy than to a phenomenological approach to the question shared by Husserl and Heidegger. By introducing some basic phenomenological theses on the mind-world-relation like the intrinsic intentional character of consciousness, I will try to re-adjust this picture and point to new fields of discussion between the different traditions.