An error theorist about morality holds that it is an error to think that there are facts we can appeal to in making moral judgements and also it is an error to think that moral claims can be true. A global error theorist holds that it is an error to think that there are facts of any kind and no statement of any kind is true. The Buddhist philosophers, Mādhyamikas, can be described as global error theorists. What, then, are we to make of their position that there are no facts or that there are no true statements? It seems to be self-refuting to say that it is a fact that there are no facts or that it is true that there are no truths. Even if one can make such claims coherent as Mādhyamikas seem to think they can, how can anyone come to claim that there are no facts or truths to begin with? In this paper, I will investigate the possibility of a method that can establish global error theory. I will show that a global error theorist can have a coherent view about logic and reasoning that can show that there are, ultimately, no facts or truths of any kind.
John McDowell and Hubert Dreyfus argue that human beings have a capacity for ‘situation-specific skilful coping’. Both claim that they are articulating Aristotle’s notion of phronēsis or practical wisdom. And both insist that it is best understood as a kind of perceptual capacity. They disagree, however, about whether it is a form of conceptual rationality. I argue that neither provides an accurate analysis of Aristotle, but I consider whether there are textual grounds for extending Aristotle’s position to include McDowell’s idea that conceptuality is a rational capacity that informs perceptual experience. I derive an account from Aristotle’s debate with Plato on the nature and presuppositions of counting. This debate fundamentally concerns the boundary conditions for rationality. I argue that their differences imply distinct models of perceptual activity and I give reasons to think that Aristotle’s position corresponds broadly to that of McDowell. It has a problem, however. It implies that animals cannot perceive, or not in the same way as human beings, and there is reason to think that Aristotle thinks their perceptual capacities are structurally similar. I conclude by proposing a (partial) solution that is inspired by Plato’s views about the role of calculation in resolving inconsistencies in perception.