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Summary

Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (1912-1989) was a profound philosopher who left an indelible mark on mid-to-late 20th century Anglo-American philosophy. His stated goal was "to formulate a scientifically oriented, naturalistic realism which would ‘save the appearances,’" and towards this end he wrote a number of essays that covered topics in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and ethics, as well as in the history of philosophy. Sellars was broadly educated in philosophy, drawing influences from ancient philosophy, German Idealism, logical positivism, critical realism, and ordinary language philosophy. His work was imbued with a deep respect for philosophy’s history. He is most famous for his attack on the "myth of the given" and his development of a non-foundationalistic epistemology, for his distinction between the "manifest image" and the "scientific image" of humanity in the world, for his proposal that psychological concepts are like theoretical concepts, and for his scientific realism. Sellars can claim the first explicit formulation of a functionalist treatment of intentional states, an early recognition of the "hard problem" of sensory consciousness, and a thoroughgoing nominalism, as well as rich interpretations of historical figures in philosophy.

Key works

Sellars’s best-known essay is [Sellars 1956 "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind."], considered a classic of 20th century philosophy.  Other landmark essays include [Sellars 1962 "Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man"], [Sellars 1954 "Some Reflections on Language Games"], [Sellars 1963 "Abstract Entities"],  [Sellars 1974 "Meaning as Functional Classification"], [Sellars 1957 "Counterfactuals, Dispositions, and the Causal Modalities"],  [Sellars 1981 "Foundations of a Metaphysics of Pure Process"], [Sellars 1969 "Language as Thought and as Communication"], [Sellars 1981"Mental Events"], [Sellars 1982 "Sensa or Sensings"], [Sellars 1980 "On Reasoning about Values"], and his book [Sellars 1968 "Science and Metaphysics"]

Introductions Richard J. Bernstein "Sellars' Vision of Man-in-the-Universe," Bernstein 1966 Bernstein 1966 deVries 2011  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Wilfrid Sellars" deVries & Triplett 2000 deVries&Triplett, Knowledge, Mind and the Given: Reading Wilfrid Sellars's "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" DeVries 2005  deVries, Wilfrid Sellars O'Shea 2007  O'Shea, Wilfrid Sellars:  Naturalism with a Normative Turn Delaney et al 1977 Delaney, Loux, et al., The Synoptic Vision
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736 found
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  1. The Enigma of Rules.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2010 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (3):377-394.
    In a remarkable early paper, Wilfrid Sellars warned us that if we cease to recognize rules, we may well find ourselves walking on four feet; and it is obvious that within human communities, the phenomenon of rules is ubiquitous. Yet from the viewpoint of the sciences, rules cannot be easily accounted for. Sellars himself, during his later years, managed to put a lot of flesh on the normative bones from which he assembled the remarkable skeleton of the early paper; and (...)
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  2. Feigl, Sellars, and the Idea of a 'Pure Pragmatics'.Matthias Neuber - manuscript
  3. Comment on Sellars' view of philosophy.Andrew Chrucky - manuscript
  4. Ist die Wissenschaft das Maß aller Dinge? Eine phänomenologische Kritik an Sellars’ Ansatz.Vittorio De Palma - forthcoming - Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique.
    In view of the incompatibility between scientific and manifest image one can either consider the scientific world as true and the sensuous world as merely subjective or consider the latter as true and the former as a subjective construction. Sellars holds the first position, namely scientific realism. By relying on Husserl, who holds the second position, I try to show that the first position has absurd consequences and is idealistic. For the measure of all things is not science, but perception.
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  5. Sellars on modality: possible worlds and rules of inference.Sybren Heyndels - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-26.
    This paper discusses the account of alethic modality as presented by Wilfrid Sellars in his earlier work from 1947 to 1958. Its aim is twofold. First, I discuss Sellars' analysis by exploring its historical relationship to Carnap's account of modality. I argue that Carnap's early syntactic treatment of modality profoundly influenced Sellars' own so-called ‘regulist' account of modality in terms of rules of inference. Furthermore, it is suggested that Sellars' lesser-known possible worlds analysis was influenced by Carnap's later semantic account (...)
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  6. Naturalized metaphysics in the image of Roy Wood Sellars and not Willard Van Orman Quine.Rasmus Jaksland - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
    The naturalized metaphysics promoted by Ladyman and Ross, among others, is often described as (neo)-Quinean metaphysics. This association with Quine's naturalism can, however, give a misleading impression of the aims and commitments of this kind of naturalized metaphysics. Contrary to Quine, these naturalized metaphysicians endorse metaphysical realism and offer wholesale arguments in favor of the epistemic standing of science-based metaphysics. Accordingly, this naturalized metaphysics comes closer to Roy Wood Sellars's evolutionary naturalism, especially since the theory of evolution is central to (...)
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  7. Beatrice Edgell’s Myth of the Given.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy.
    Wilfrid Sellars’ “myth of the given” had a momentous influence on 20th-century epistemology, putting under pressure the internalist foundationalism so prominent in early analytic philosophy. In this paper, I argue that the core themes in Sellars’ argument are anticipated in the work of the London philosopher and psychologist Beatrice Edgell (1871-1948). Indeed, in some respects Edgell’s argument against the myth of the given is even more compelling than Sellars’. The paper logically reconstructs and historically contextualizes Edgell’s line of argument, as (...)
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  8. Sellars, Analyticity, and a Dynamic Picture of Language.Takaaki Matsui - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
    Even after Quine’s critique of the analytic-synthetic distinction in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism,” Wilfrid Sellars maintained some forms of analyticity or truth in virtue of meaning. This paper aims to reconstruct his neglected account of the analytic-synthetic distinction and the revisability of analytic sentences, its connection to his inferentialist account of meaning, and his response to Quine. While Sellars’s account of how analytic sentences can be revised bears certain similarities with Carnap’s and Grice and Strawson’s accounts, it is still striking (...)
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  9. On Sellars’s Analytic-Kantian Conception of Categories as Classifying Conceptual Roles.James O'Shea - forthcoming - In Javier Cumpa (ed.), Categorial Ontologies: From Realism to Eliminativism. Routledge.
    ABSTRACT: I argue that Sellars’s metaconceptual theory of the categories exemplifies and extends a long line of nominalistic thinking about the nature of the categories from Ockham and Kant to the Tractatus and Carnap, and that this theory is far more central than has generally been realized to each of Sellars’s most famous and enduring philosophical conceptions: the myth of the given, the logical space of reasons, and resolving the ostensible clash between the manifest and scientific images of the human (...)
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  10. Foucault, Sellars, and the “conditions of possibility” of science.Marco Piasentier - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Foucault and Sellars are representatives of conflicting philosophical traditions: whereas Foucault famously insisted that “power is everywhere,” Sellars proposed the well-known scientia mensura dic...
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  11. Foucault, Sellars, and the “conditions of possibility” of science.Marco Piasentier - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Foucault and Sellars are representatives of conflicting philosophical traditions: whereas Foucault famously insisted that “power is everywhere,” Sellars proposed the well-known scientia mensura dictum. The tension between the two perspectives seems to be so strong that each of them ends up reducing the other to an epiphenomenal illusion. In this article, I shall attempt to show that the works of Sellars and Foucault are not necessarily irreconcilable. The common ground for this dialogue is what I shall define as a historico-practical (...)
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  12. Foucault, Sellars, and the “conditions of possibility” of science.Marco Piasentier - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Foucault and Sellars are representatives of conflicting philosophical traditions: whereas Foucault famously insisted that “power is everywhere,” Sellars proposed the well-known scientia mensura dictum. The tension between the two perspectives seems to be so strong that each of them ends up reducing the other to an epiphenomenal illusion. In this article, I shall attempt to show that the works of Sellars and Foucault are not necessarily irreconcilable. The common ground for this dialogue is (...)
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  13. Wilfrid Sellars' Anti-Descriptivism.Kevin Scharp - forthcoming - In Koskinen (ed.), Categories of Being.
    The work of Kripke, Putnam, Kaplan, and others initiated a tradition in philosophy that has come to be known as anti-descriptivism. I argue that when properly interpreted, Wilfrid Sellars is a staunch anti-descriptivist. Not only does he accept most of the conclusions drawn by the more famous anti-descriptivists, he goes beyond their critiques to reject the fundamental tenant of descriptivism—that understanding a linguistic expression consists in mentally grasping its meaning and associating that meaning with the expression. I show that Sellars’ (...)
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  14. Fallibilism and Givenness in Marx's Critique of Stirner.Lawrence Dallman - 2024 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 6.
    Marx is a fallibilist. He holds that no commitment is immune to revision under pressure of rational scrutiny. His criticisms of rival thinkers often turn not just on their getting things wrong, but on their being too little observant of this precept. I examine one such episode: Marx’s critique of Stirner in The German Ideology. Stirner is himself a fallibilist and understands his philosophy as a correction against earlier, less successful attempts to pursue a consistently fallibilistic program in philosophy. Marx (...)
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  15. Perceptual justification and the demands of effective agency.Griffin Klemick - 2024 - Synthese 203 (2):1-20.
    Pragmatist responses to skepticism about empirical justification have mostly been underwhelming, either presupposing implausible theses like relativism or anti-realism, or else showing our basic empirical beliefs to be merely psychologically inevitable rather than rationally warranted. In this paper I defend a better one: a modified version of an argument by Wilfrid Sellars that we are pragmatically warranted in accepting that our perceptual beliefs are likely to be true, since their likely truth is necessary for the satisfaction of our goal of (...)
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  16. Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy: The ‘Analytic’ Tradition.James O'Shea - 2024 - In Mark Timmons & Sorin Baiasu (eds.), The Kantian Mind. London and New York: Routledge.
    ABSTRACT: In a previous article (O’Shea 2006) I provided a concise overview of the reception of Kant’s philosophy among analytic philosophers during the periods from the ‘early analytic’ reactions to Kant in Frege, Russell, Carnap and others, to the systematic Kant-inspired works in epistemology and metaphysics of C. I. Lewis and P. F. Strawson, in particular. In this chapter I use the recently reinvigorated work of Wilfrid Sellars (1912–1989) in the second half of the twentieth century as the basis for (...)
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  17. Critical Direct Realism? New Realism, Roy Wood Sellars, and Wilfrid Sellars.James R. O’Shea - 2024 - Topoi 43 (1):135-145.
    The overall contention of this paper, conducted through an examination of the idea of a ‘critical direct realism’ as this was developed across the twentieth century first in the thought of Roy Wood Sellars (1880–1973) and then in a different form by his son Wilfrid Sellars (1912–1989), is that such a view, in both its conceptual and sensory representational dimensions, is plausible as a form of direct realism. However, to the extent that the mediating sensory or qualitative dimension was itself (...)
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  18. Explication in the Space of Reasons: What Sellars and Carnap Could Offer to Each Other.Krisztián Pete & Adam Tamas Tuboly - 2024 - Topoi 43 (1):171-185.
    In this paper, we reconsider the highly underrated Carnap–Sellars relationship, arguing that Sellars might be able to provide an interesting resolution to some of Carnap’s finest problems around explication by offering a grand-scale picture of science/common-sense or manifest interactions. The narrative developed here points toward the need for some stratification and re-evaluation of a field of scholarship that all too often still engages in challenging and contradictory dichotomies, undermining the genuine intentions of scholars who were collaborating with, as well as (...)
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  19. Power and Freedom in the Space of Reasons: Elaborating Foucault's Pragmatism.Tuomo Tiisala - 2024 - Routledge.
    This book argues that the received view of the distinction between freedom and power must be rejected because it rests on an untenable account of the discursive cognition that endows individuals with the capacity for autonomy, that is, self-governed rationality. In liberal and Kantian approaches alike, the autonomous subject is a self-standing starting-point, whose freedom is constrained by relations of power only contingently because they are external to the subject's constitution. Thus, the received view defines the distinction between freedom and (...)
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  20. Wilfrid Sellars and Phenomenology: Intersections, Encounters, Oppositions ed. by Daniele De Santis and Danilo Manca (review).Heath Williams - 2024 - Review of Metaphysics 77 (3):546-548.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:Wilfrid Sellars and Phenomenology: Intersections, Encounters, Oppositions ed. by Daniele De Santis and Danilo MancaHeath WilliamsDE SANTIS, Daniele and Danilo Manca, editors. Wilfrid Sellars and Phenomenology: Intersections, Encounters, Oppositions. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2023. xiv + 272 pp. Cloth, $95.00This is an eminently readable and engaging collection of essays. There is much more here than merely comparing and contrasting two disparate thinkers. There are important contributions to metaphysics, (...)
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  21. Observing Mythical Entities.Andrea Altobrando - 2023 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 100 (3):302-335.
    Sellars has taught us that we do not have direct epistemic access to sense data. Therefore, the latter cannot work as the bedrock of our knowledge. At the same time, through the myth of genius Jones, Sellars has tried to explain how we become able to rationally refer to sense data. What is more, it even seems that, following Jones’ teachings, the Rylean folk have become able to observe sense data. How could this be possible if sense data are merely (...)
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  22. Kant’s Transcendental Theory of Moral Psychology Within Sellars’ Manifest Image.Aran Arslan - 2023 - Journal of Kant Studies 1 (1):61-84.
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  23. Wilfrid Sellars and phenomenology: intersections, encounters, oppositions.Daniele De Santis & Danilo Manca (eds.) - 2023 - Athens: Ohio University Press.
    This collection offers the first systematic, comparative analysis of Wilfrid Sellars's Pittsburgh school of thought and Husserlian phenomenology. Beginning with an introduction to contemporary philosophical debates about the mind and pragmatism, the essays examine and clarify the discursive divide between analytic and Continental philosophy.
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  24. We-Intentions and How One Reports Them.Kyle Ferguson - 2023 - In Jeremy Randel Koons & Ronald Loeffler (eds.), Ethics, practical reasoning, agency: Wilfrid Sellars's practical philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 37–61.
    In this chapter, Kyle Ferguson argues for an individualist account of Sellarsian we-intentions. According to the individualist account, we-intentions’ intersubjective form renders them shareable rather than requiring that they be shared. Contrary to collectivist accounts, one may we-intend independently of whether and without presupposing that one's community shares one's we-intentions. After providing textual support, Ferguson proposes and implements a strategy of reportorial ascent, which strengthens the case for the individualist account. Reportorial ascent involves reflecting on the sentences one would use (...)
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  25. La Ontología Social de Wilfrid Sellars: Razonamiento práctico, conexiones instrumentales y coerción social.José Giromini - 2023 - Análisis Filosófico 1.
    El presente trabajo identifica en la obra de Wilfrid Sellars dos tesis relevantes para el debate contemporáneo en ontología social. La primera dice que podemos entender la realidad social como estando compuesta parcialmente por estructuras causales o coercitivas. La segunda, que la realidad social se le presenta a los agentes como estando constituida por estructuras coercitivas. El trabajo defiende estas tesis interpretativas recurriendo a los escritos de filosofía práctica de Sellars, y especialmente a su explicación del funcionamiento de los imperativos (...)
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  26. Moral Motivation: the Practical Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars A Critical Notice of: Ethics, Practical Reasoning, Agency: Wilfrid Sellars’s Practical Philosophy, edited by Jeremy Randel Koons and Ronald Loeffler, London and New York, Routledge, 2023, xii + 240 pp., £36.00 (pbk), ISBN:978-1-032-30144-0. [REVIEW]Michael R. Hicks - 2023 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 31 (5):718-729.
    1. In the preface to his magnum opus, Science and Metaphysics, Wilfrid Sellars describes the final chapter on ‘objectivity and intersubjectivity in ethics’ as ‘the keystone of the argument,’ becaus...
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  27. Analytic Philosophy of Language (Wittgenstein, Sellars, Quine, Davidson, Kuhn).Yvonne Huetter-Almerigi & Bjørn Torgrim Ramberg - 2023 - In Martin Müller (ed.), Handbuch Richard Rorty. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden. pp. 347-362.
    In this chapter we focus on Rorty’s core commitments with respect to language, and consider their role in Rorty’s stormy relations to mainstream analytic philosophy. Further, we bring out key features of Rorty’s position by tracing his engagement with WittgensteinWittgenstein, SellarsSellars, QuineQuine, DavidsonDavidson, and KuhnKuhn.
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  28. Ethics, practical reasoning, agency: Wilfrid Sellars's practical philosophy.Jeremy Randel Koons & Ronald Loeffler (eds.) - 2023 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This is the first volume devoted exclusively to the practical philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars. It features original essays by leading Sellars scholars that examine his ethical theory, his theory of practical reasoning, and his theory of intentional agency. While most scholarship on Sellars's philosophy has focused on his epistemology, metaphysics, or philosophy of language and mind, Sellars himself regarded his practical philosophy as central to his overall project of situating rational beings within the natural order. The chapters in this volume (...)
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  29. The Space of Motivations, Experience, and the Categorial Given.Jacob Rump - 2023 - In Daniele De Santis & Danilo Manca (eds.), Wilfrid Sellars and Phenomenology: Intersections, Encounters, Oppositions. Ohio University Press.
    This paper outlines an Husserlian, phenomenological account of the first stages of the acquisition of empirical knowledge in light of some aspects of Wilfrid Sellars’ critique of the myth of the given. The account offered accords with Sellars’ in the view that epistemic status is attributed to empirical episodes holistically and within a broader normative context, but disagrees that such holism and normativity are accomplished only within the linguistic and conceptual confines of the space of reasons, and rejects the limitation (...)
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  30. Normativity, Lifeworld, and Science in Sellars’ Synoptic Vision: by Dionysis Christias, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2023, vii + 321 pp., €128.39 hbk, €96.29 Ebook, ISBN 978-3-031-27025-3; ISBN 978-3-031-27026-0 (eBook). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-27026-0. [REVIEW]Carl B. Sachs - 2023 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 31 (5):739-744.
    Once upon a time, academic philosophy in the Global North was characterized by a dichotomy between ‘analytic philosophy’ and ‘Continental philosophy.’ This distinction often determined not just one...
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  31. The metaphysics of practice: writings on action, community, and obligation.Wilfrid Sellars - 2023 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Edited by Kyle Ferguson & Jeremy Randel Koons.
    The Metaphysics of Practice brings together Wilfrid Sellars's writings on topics to do with action, community, and obligation: published essays, manuscripts, and correspondence. Sellars's practical philosophy was absolutely central to his overarching philosophical project of situating persons as practically rational, norm-governed animals within the world as described by an ideal science. The Editors' Introduction offers an overview of Sellars's metaethics, detailing its key features and explaining how these features are supposed to solve outstanding metaethical problems that not only faced Sellars's (...)
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  32. O Espaço Lógico Das Razões de Wilfrid Sellars e a Racionalidade Do Discurso Religioso: Uma Vindicação.Gabriel Ferreira da Silva & Alex Ribolli - 2023 - Síntese Revista de Filosofia 50 (158):447.
    Resumo: O problema básico a cuja resposta se almeja nesse artigo é o problema geral da epistemologia da filosofia da religião: é possível falar de uma racionalidade, de um modo geral, do e no discurso religioso? É racional, a título de exemplo, falar-se – e, mais ainda, defender – proposições como “há vida depois da morte”, “existe Deus”, “a alma reencarna e é eterna”, “Jesus ressuscitou ao terceiro dia” etc.? Para uma plêiade de autores a resposta é negativa; para uma (...)
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  33. Being in Touch with the World. [REVIEW]Anke Breunig - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (5):525-536.
    The article discusses two claims from Seiberth's book Intentionality in Sellars: A Transcendental Account of Finite Knowledge, both of which bear on the question of what it takes to be in touch with the world. Seiberth claims, first, that the philosophical method known as transcendental analysis, which Sellars adopts from Kant, is more basic than Sellars's other methodological commitments, including the method of providing a conceptual analysis of the manifest and the scientific image of man-in-the-world. I ask whether the results (...)
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  34. Wilfrid Sellars on Science and the Mind.Anke Breunig - 2022 - Philosophical Topics 50 (1):235-261.
    This paper explores some ideas of Wilfrid Sellars to raise two difficulties for a naturalistic approach to the mind. The first difficulty, which is methodological, is a corollary of Sellars’s distinction between two images of man-in-the-world, the manifest and the scientific image. For Sellars, taking science seriously requires that we think of it as constructing a unified image of man-in-the-world of its own. I argue that it is the rivalry between the manifest and the scientific image which gives rise to (...)
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  35. Demystifying the myth of sensation: Wilfrid Sellars’ adverbialism reconsidered.Luca Corti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    This paper reconstructs and defends a Sellarsian approach to “sensation” that allows us to avoid mythological conceptions of it. Part I reconstructs and isolates Sellars’s argument for “sensation,” situating his adverbial interpretation of the notion within his broader theory of perception. Part II positions Sellars’s views vis-à-vis current conversations on adverbalism. In particular, it focuses on the Many Property Problem, which is traditionally considered the main obstacle to adverbialism. After reconstructing Sellars’s response to this problem, I demonstrate that his position (...)
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  36. Idealism, quietism, conceptual change: Sellars and McDowell on the knowability of the world.Michael R. Hicks - 2022 - Giornali di Metafisica 44 (1):51-71.
    Both Wilfrid Sellars and John McDowell reject Kant’s conclusion that the world is fundamentally unknowable, and on similar grounds: each invokes conceptual change, what I call the diachronic instability of a conceptual scheme. The similarities end there, though. It is important to Sellars that the world is only knowable at “the end of inquiry” – he rejects a commonsense realism like McDowell’s for its inability to fully appreciate diachronic instability. To evaluate this disagreement, I consider Timothy Williamson’s argument that the (...)
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  37. Sellars's Transcendental Philosophy. [REVIEW]Michael R. Hicks - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (5):537-547.
    Luz Seiberth's interpretation of Sellars as a transcendental philosopher promises to change the way we read Sellars. Nonetheless, I dispute two of his central claims: that by depicting ”picturing” as as a transcendental imposition we can see it as addressing a ”vertical” constraint that Kant does not detect; and that Sellars's transcendental philosophy commits him to a Kantian ”necessitarianism” about categorical strucure. Ultimately, I conclude, Seiberth's focus on Sellars's relationship to Kant in particular distorts his understanding of Sellars's peculiar version (...)
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  38. Expressivism as normative social functionalism: Wittgenstein and Sellars.Nikola Jandrić - 2022 - Theoria: Beograd 65 (4):17-31.
    In the text it will be attempted to prove the existence of a tradition of expressivism in the form of normative social functionalism as the common denominator for the position or positions taken by the later Wittgenstein and Wilfrid Sellars in regards to questions of objectivity and normativity of lingustic meaning, presented as answers to the problem of rule following. Sellars formulates the problem of rule following at approximately the same time as does Wittgenstein. Also, Sellars’ answer to this problem, (...)
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  39. Fundarentismo e o dilema de Sellars.Mateus Jurkovski - 2022 - Dissertation, Uffs, Brazil
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  40. Phenomenalism, Skepticism, and Sellars's Account of Intentionality.Griffin Klemick - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (5):548-558.
    I take up two questions raised by Luz Christopher Seiberth's meticulous reconstruction of Wilfrid Sellars's theory of intentionality. The first is whether we should regard Sellars as a transcendental phenomenalist in the most interesting sense of the term: as denying that even an ideally adequate conceptual structure would enable us to represent worldly objects as they are in themselves. I agree with Seiberth that the answer is probably yes, but I suggest that this is due not to Sellars's rejection of (...)
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  41. Sellars's Core Critique of C. I. Lewis: Against the Equation of Aboutness with Givenness.Griffin Klemick - 2022 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie (1):106-136.
    Many have taken Sellars’s critique of empiricism in “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind” (EPM) to be aimed at his teacher C. I. Lewis. But if so, why do the famous arguments of its opening sections carry so little force against Lewis’s views? Understandably, some respond by denying that Lewis’s epistemology is among the positions targeted by Sellars. But this is incorrect. Indeed, Sellars had earlier offered more trenchant (if already familiar) critiques of Lewis’s epistemology. What is original about EPM (...)
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  42. Sellars on compatibilism and the consequence argument.Jeremy Randel Koons - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2361-2389.
    No contemporary compatibilist account of free will can be complete unless it engages with the consequence argument. I will argue that Wilfrid Sellars offered an ingenious version of compatibilism that can be used to refute the consequence argument. Unfortunately, owing to the opacity of Sellars’s writings on free will, his solution has been neglected. I will reconstruct his view here, demonstrating how it represents a powerful challenge to the consequence argument and tying it to some recent developments in the compatibilist (...)
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  43. The Role of Picturing In Sellars’s Practical Philosophy.Jeremy Randel Koons & Carl B. Sachs - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Research 47:147-176.
    Picturing is a poorly understood element of Sellars’s philosophical project. We diagnose the problem with picturing as follows: on the one hand, it seems that it must be connected with action in order for it to do its job. On the other hand, the representational states of a picturing system are characterized in descriptive and seemingly static terms. How can static terms be connected with action? To solve this problem, we adopt a concept from recent work in Sellarsian metaethics: the (...)
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  44. Kant and Sellars on the Unity of Apperception.David Landy - 2022 - Philosophical Inquiries 10 (1):49-72.
    That Wilfrid Sellars claims that the framework of persons is not a descriptive framework, but a normative one is about as well known as any claim that he makes. This claim is at the core of the famous demand for a synoptic image that closes, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” makes its appearance at key moments in the grand argument of, “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind,” and is the capstone of Sellars’ engagement with Kant in, Science and (...)
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  45. A Cybernetic Theory of Persons: How and Why Sellars Naturalized Kant.Carl B. Sachs - 2022 - Philosophical Inquiries 10 (1).
    I argue that Sellars’s naturalization of Kant should be understood in terms of how he used behavioristic psychology and cybernetics. I first explore how Sellars used Edward Tolman’s cognitive-behavioristic psychology to naturalize Kant in the early essay “Language, Rules, and Behavior”. I then turn to Norbert Wiener’s understanding of feedback loops and circular causality. On this basis I argue that Sellars’s distinction between signifying and picturing, which he introduces in “Being and Being Known,” can be understood in terms of what (...)
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  46. The Single-Minded Animal: Shared Intentionality, Normativity, and the Foundations of Discursive Cognition. [REVIEW]Carl B. Sachs - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (4):446-452.
    Stovall’s overall project in The Single-Minded Animal is to develop a new theory of discursive normativity: our ability to judge what we ought to think and what we ought to do according to rules. His account draws on primate psychology, cognitive science, and recent work in possible world semantics to flesh out an account of what it is to engage in rational choice.
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  47. The Pittsburgh Kantians: Brandom, Conant, Haugeland, and McDowell on Kant.Jacob Browning - 2021 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis (1):1-32.
    Over the last thirty years, a group of philosophers associated with the University of Pittsburgh—Robert Brandom, James Conant, John Haugeland, and John McDowell—have developed a novel reading of Kant. Their interest turns on Kant’s problem of objective purport: how can my thoughts be about the world? This paper summarizes the shared reading of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction by these four philosophers and how it solves the problem of objective purport. But I also show these philosophers radically diverge in how they view (...)
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  48. Sellars, we-intentions and ought-statements.Stefanie Dach - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4415-4439.
    My paper is concerned with the relation between ought-statements and intentions in Wilfrid Sellars’s philosophy. According to an entrenched view in Sellars scholarship, Sellars considers ought-statements as expressions of we-intentions. The aim of my paper is to question this reading and to propose an alternative. According to this alternative reading of Sellars, ought-statements are metalinguistic statements about the implication relations between intentions. I show that the entrenched understanding faces many unacknowledged problems and generates incompatibilities with Sellars’s commitments about intentions. I (...)
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  49. Cassirer’s Influence on the Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars.Tobias Endres - 2021 - Cassirer Studies 13 (XIII/XIV-2020/2021):149-170.
    The aim of the paper is to highlight a hidden reception of Ernst Cassirer’s works in the writings of Wilfrid Sellars. To set out such reception, I will begin with defining criteria that allow us to point out a possible influence from one thinker on another. In a second step, I will present several links between the set-out criteria and the constellation Sellars-Cassirer. Finally, the Cassirer Lectures Series at Yale, Sellars’ review of Language and Myth as well as Sellars’ lecture (...)
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  50. Béatrice Longuenesse and Ned Block Vide Kant.Ekin Erkan - 2021 - Cosmos and History 17 (1):405-452.
    Understanding, for Kant, does not intuit, and intuition—which involves empirical information, i.e., sense-data—does not entail thinking. What is crucial to Kant’s famous claim that intuitions without concepts are blind and concepts without intuitions are empty is the idea that we have no knowledge unless we combine concepts with intuition. Although concepts and intuition are radically separated mental powers, without a way of bringing them together (i.e., synthesis) there is no knowledge for Kant. Thus Kant’s metaphysical-scientific dualism: (scientific) knowledge is limited (...)
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