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Wilfrid Sellars

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011)

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  1. Meaning That Lives in Behavior: Sellars on Rule-Following.Santiago Rey - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (4):488-509.
    The recent debate between conceptualists and phenomenologists, epitomized in the exchange between John McDowell and Hubert Dreyfus, has put on the table the age-old philosophical problem of the rel...
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  • Hegel and Sellars on the Unity of Things.Willem A. deVries - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (3):363-378.
    ABSTRACTI have claimed previously that Hegel and Sellars are both, in the end, monistic visionaries, though with radically different visions of the grand unity of things. In this paper I explain an...
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  • The Myth of the Taken: Why Hegel Is Not a Conceptualist.W. Clark Wolf - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (3):399-421.
    ABSTRACTThe close connection often cited between Hegel and Wilfrid Sellars is not only said to lie in their common negative challenges to the ‘framework of givenness,’ but also in the positive less...
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  • Social Conceptions of Moral Agency in Hegel and Sellars.David Baumeister - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (2):249-265.
    This essay contributes to our understanding of the relation between the philosophies of Hegel and Sellars. While most treatments of this relation have focused on metaphysics or epistemology, I focus on ethics, and in particular on the formulation of moral agency. I argue that Hegel and Sellars arrive at a similar metaphilosophical rejection of individual moral agency in favor of conceptions of moral agency as the outcome of social mediation. To demonstrate this, I trace how Hegel and Sellars offer parallel (...)
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  • Inferentialism: Why Rules Matter.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2014 - London and New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In this study two strands of inferentialism are brought together: the philosophical doctrine of Brandom, according to which meanings are generally inferential roles, and the logical doctrine prioritizing proof-theory over model theory and approaching meaning in logical, especially proof-theoretical terms.
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  • Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity.Peter Olen - 2016 - London, England: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    While Wilfrid Sellars’ philosophy is often depicted in an ahistorical fashion, this book explores the consequences of placing his work in its historical context. In order to show how Sellars’ early publications depend on contextual factors, Peter Olen reconstructs the conceptions of language, psychological, and social explanation that dominated American philosophy in the early 20th century. Because of Sellars’ differing explanations of language and behaviour, Olen argues that many of Sellars’ early commitments are incompatible with his later works. In the (...)
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  • Analysis and Interpretation in the Exact Sciences: Essays in Honour of William Demopoulos.Melanie Frappier, Derek Brown & Robert DiSalle (eds.) - 2011 - Dordrecht and London: Springer.
    The essays in this volume concern the points of intersection between analytic philosophy and the philosophy of the exact sciences. More precisely, it concern connections between knowledge in mathematics and the exact sciences, on the one hand, and the conceptual foundations of knowledge in general. Its guiding idea is that, in contemporary philosophy of science, there are profound problems of theoretical interpretation-- problems that transcend both the methodological concerns of general philosophy of science, and the technical concerns of philosophers of (...)
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  • The Fact of the Given From a Realist Idealist Perspective.Gregor Flock - 2017 - In Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception and Observation. Contributions of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium August 6-12, 2017 Kirchberg am Wechsel. Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. pp. 56-58.
    In his well-known Mind and World and in line with Wilfrid Sellars (1991) or “that great foe of ‘immediacy’” (ibid., 127) Hegel, McDowell claims that “when Evans argues that judgments of experience are based on non-conceptual content, he is falling into a version of the Myth of the Given” (1996, 114). In this talk and on the basis of a Berkeleyio-Kantian ‘realist idealist’ world view (sect. 1) and an explication of Kant’s concept of the “given manifold” (CPR, e.g. B138; sect. (...)
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  • Sellars's Ontological Nominalism.Ryan Simonelli - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Wilfrid Sellars is widely known for two positions that he calls “nominalism.” On the one hand, there is his “psychological nominalism,” according to which any awareness one might have of abstract entities—be they properties, relations, or facts—is a thoroughly linguistic affair, and so cannot be presupposed in thinking about the process of learning a (first) language. On the other hand, there is his ontological nominalism, according to which the world, as it is in itself, is fundamentally a world of concrete (...)
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  • Before the Law.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2011 - Philosophical Issues 21 (1):219-244.
    Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in sometime later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.”—Franz Kafka..
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  • 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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  • Towards a Phenomenological Conception of Experiential Justification.Philipp Berghofer - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):155-183.
    The aim of this paper is to shed light on and develop what I call a phenomenological conception of experiential justification. According to this phenomenological conception, certain experiences gain their justificatory force from their distinctive phenomenology. Such an approach closely connects epistemology and philosophy of mind and has recently been proposed by several authors, most notably by Elijah Chudnoff, Ole Koksvik, and James Pryor. At the present time, however, there is no work that contrasts these different versions of PCEJ. This (...)
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  • Intentional Relations and the Sideways‐on View: On McDowell's Critique of Sellars.Lionel Shapiro - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):300-319.
    : McDowell opposes the view that the intentionality of language and thought remains mysterious unless it can be understood ‘from outside the conceptual order’. While he thinks the demand for such a ‘sideways-on’ understanding can be the result of ‘scientistic prejudice’, he points to Sellars's thought as exhibiting a different source: a distortion of our perspective ‘from within the conceptual order’. The distortion involves a failure on Sellars's part to see how descriptions from within the conceptual order can present expressions (...)
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  • Personhood and First-Personal Experience.Richard E. Duus - 2017 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 37 (2):109-127.
    There is a gap between the first-person and third-person perspectives resulting in a tension experienced between psychological science, ‘experimental psychology’, and applied consulting psychological practice, ‘clinical psychology’. This is an exploration of that ‘gap’ and its resulting tension. First-person perspective is proposed as an important aspect of psychological reality in conjunction with the related perspectival aspects of second- and third-person perspectives. These three aspects taken ‘wholistically’ constitute a perspectival diffusion grate through which psychological reality is discerned. The reductionistic naturalism of (...)
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  • In Defense of Picturing; Sellars’s Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Neuroscience.Carl B. Sachs - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (4):669-689.
    I argue that Sellars’s distinction between signifying and picturing should be taken seriously by philosophers of mind, language, and cognition. I begin with interpretations of key Sellarsian texts in order to show that picturing is best understood as a theory of non-linguistic cognitive representations through which animals navigate their environments. This is distinct from the kind of discursive cognition that Sellars called ‘signifying’ and which is best understood in terms of socio-linguistic inferences. I argue that picturing is required because reflection (...)
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  • What is the Myth of the Given?James R. O’Shea - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10543-10567.
    The idea of ‘the given’ and its alleged problematic status as most famously articulated by Sellars continues to be at the center of heated controversies about foundationalism in epistemology, about ‘conceptualism’ and nonconceptual content in the philosophy of perception, and about the nature of the experiential given in phenomenology and in the cognitive sciences. I argue that the question of just what the myth of the given is supposed to be in the first place is more complex than has typically (...)
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  • Varieties of Normativity: Reasons, Expectations, Wide-Scope Oughts, and Ought-to-Be's.Arto Laitinen - 2020 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez, Rachael Mellin & Raimo Tuomela (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 133-158.
    This chapter distinguishes between several senses of “normativity”. For example, that we ought to abstain from causing unnecessary suffering is a normative, not descriptive, claim. And so is the claim that we have good reason, and ought to drive on the right, or left, side of the road because the law requires us to do that. Reasons and oughts are normative, by definition. Indeed, it may be that “[t]he normativity of all that is normative consists in the way it is, (...)
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  • The Lamp of Reason and the Mirror of Nature.Preston Stovall - 2019 - In Randall Auxier, Eli Kramer & Krzysztof P. Skowronski (eds.), Beyond Rorty. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 215-234.
    At the close of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature Richard Rorty lays out a contrast between what he calls 'systematic' and 'edifying' philosophical anthropologies. Whereas the systematic philosopher aims to speak for the ages, the edifying philosopher addresses herself to issues of her day, often by way of shattering conventional idols. Rorty sees these two approaches as mutually exclusive. The aim of this paper is to defend a conception of philosophy as both systematic and edifying in the relevant senses. (...)
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  • Capitalism as a Space of Reasons: Analytic, Neo-Hegelian Marxism?Justin Evans - 2020 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 47 (7):789-813.
    I suggest that we can read Marx in the light of recent analytic, neo-Hegelian thought. I summarize the Pittsburgh School philosophers’ claims about the myth of the given, the claim that human exper...
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  • Belief Attribution as Indirect Communication.Christopher Gauker - 2021 - In Ladislav Koreň, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Preston Stovall & Leo Townsend (eds.), Groups, Norms and Practices: Essays on Inferentialism and Collective Intentionality. Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 173-187.
    This paper disputes the widespread assumption that beliefs and desires may be attributed as theoretical entities in the service of the explanation and predic- tion of human behavior. The literature contains no clear account of how beliefs and desires might generate actions, and there is good reason to deny that principles of rationality generate a choice on the basis of an agent’s beliefs and desires. An alter- native conception of beliefs and desires is here introduced, according to which an attribution (...)
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  • Wilfrid Sellars and the Task of Philosophy.Michael R. Hicks - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9373-9400.
    Critical attention to Wilfrid Sellars’s “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man” (PSIM) has focused on the dubious Peircean optimism about scientific convergence that underwrites Sellars’s talk of “the” scientific image. Sellars’s ultimate Peircean ontology has led Willem deVries, for instance, to accuse him of being a naturalistic “monistic visionary.” But this complaint of monism misplays the status of the ideal end of science in Sellars’s thinking. I propose a novel reading of PSIM, foregrounding its opening methodological reflections. On this (...)
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  • Sellars on Thoughts and Beliefs.Mitch Parsell - 2011 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (2):261-275.
    In this paper, I examine Wilfrid Sellars’ famous Myth of Jones. I argue the myth provides an ontologically austere account of thoughts and beliefs that makes sense of the full range of our folk psychological abilities. Sellars’ account draws on both Gilbert Ryle and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Ryle provides Sellars with the resources to make thoughts metaphysically respectable and Wittgenstein the resources to make beliefs rationally criticisable. By combining these insights into a single account, Sellars is able to see reasons as (...)
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  • Transcendental Sentimentalism.Aaron Franklin - manuscript
    Broadly construed, moral sentimentalism is the position that human emotions or sentiments play a crucial role in our best normative or descriptive accounts of moral value or judgments thereof. In this paper, I introduce and sketch a defense of a new form of moral sentimentalism I call “Transcendental Sentimentalism”. According to transcendental sentimentalism, having a sentimental response to an object is a necessary condition of the possibility of a subject counting as having non-inferential evaluative knowledge about that object. In unpacking (...)
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  • Norwood Russell Hanson’s Account of Experience: An Untimely Defense.Raja Rosenhagen - 2019 - Synthese (6):1-26.
    Experience, it is widely agreed, constrains our thinking and is also thoroughly theory-laden. But how can it constrain our thinking while depending on what it purports to constrain? To address this issue, I revisit and carefully analyze the account of observation provided by Norwood Russell Hanson, who introduced the term ‘theory-ladenness of observation’ in the first place. I show that Hanson’s account provides an original and coherent response to the initial question and argue that, if suitably developed, his account provides (...)
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  • Inference and the Structure of Concepts.Matías Osta Vélez - 2020 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
    This thesis studies the role of conceptual content in inference and reasoning. The first two chapters offer a theoretical and historical overview of the relation between inference and meaning in philosophy and psychology. In particular, a critical analysis of the formality thesis, i.e., the idea that rational inference is a rule-based and topic-neutral mechanism, is advanced. The origins of this idea in logic and its influence in philosophy and cognitive psychology are discussed. Chapter 3 consists of an analysis of the (...)
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  • A Sellarsian Approach to the Normativism-Antinormativism Controversy.Dionysis Christias - 2015 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (2):143-175.
    In this article, it is argued that Sellars’ view of normativity is the key for a proper resolution of the debate between normativism and anti-normativism, as the latter is described in Turner’s recent book Explaining the Normative. Drawing on an early Sellarsian article , I suggest that both normativism and anti-normativism are ultimately unsatisfactory positions and for the same reason: due to their failure to draw a distinction between causal or explanatory reducibility and logical or conceptual reducibility of the normative (...)
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  • Categorial Inference and Convert Realism: Structuring Ontology Via Nomological Axiomatics.Ekin Erkan - 2021 - Axiomathes 32:1-42.
    Following Sellars, this paper shows how ontological theorization becomes diachronically coordinated with and constrained by empirical science, and how the formal-quantitative kernel of scientific theories corresponds to qualitative-conceptual determinations at the structural level. To do this, we follow Johanna Seibt’s characterization of ontology as a theory of categorial inference, in which category construction and recategorization are seen relative to and modeled by the most general inferences and descriptive concepts of natural and scientific languages. This allows us to trace the preservation (...)
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  • Conventionalism and the Impoverishment of the Space of Reasons: Carnap, Quine and Sellars.Kenneth R. Westphal - 2015 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 3 (8).
    This article examines how Quine and Sellars develop informatively contrasting responses to a fundamental tension in Carnap’s semantics ca. 1950. Quine’s philosophy could well be styled ‘Essays in Radical Empiricism’; his assay of radical empiricism is invaluable for what it reveals about the inherent limits of empiricism. Careful examination shows that Quine’s criticism of Carnap’s semantics in ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’ fails, that at its core Quine’s semantics is for two key reasons incoherent and that his hallmark Thesis of Extensionalism (...)
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  • Pragmatic Concerns and Images of the World.Fernando Birman - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):715-731.
    I defend a pragmatist reinterpretation of Sellars’s famous manifest-scientific distinction. I claim that in order to do justice to this important distinction we must first recognize, despite what philosophers—including, arguably, Sellars—often make of it, that the distinction does not draw an epistemological or metaphysical boundary between different kinds of objects and events, but a pragmatic boundary between different ways in which we interact with objects and events. Put differently, I argue that the manifest-scientific distinction, in my view, can be best (...)
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  • Sellarsian Synopsis: Integrating the Images.Jay L. Garfield - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (21).
    Most discussion of Sellars’ deployment of the distinct images of “man-in-the-world” in Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man focus entirely on the manifest and the scientific images. But the original image is important as well. In this essay I explore the importance of the original image to the Sellarsian project of naturalizing epistemology, connecting Sellars’ insights regarding this image to recent work in cognitive development.
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  • Between Two Images? An Introduction.Carlo Gabbani - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (21).
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  • Idée et réalité : sur la lecture pragmatique de Hegel, la certitude sensible et le mythe du donné.Emmanuel Chaput - 2012 - Ithaque 11:51-73.
    La visée de ce texte est d’introduire le lecteur francophone à l’interprétation pragmatique de Hegel essentiellement présente dans le monde anglo-saxon. L’intérêt grandissant au sein de la francophonie pour ce genre de lecture nous porte à questionner le sens même du qualificatif « pragmatique » qui la caractérise. Cette précision faite, nous nous attarderons à la figure de la certitude sensible dans la Phénoménologie de l’esprit en y soulignant les thèmes pragmatiques, notamment dans le cas de ce que Wilfrid Sellars (...)
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  • Realismus a jazyk: Recept podle Sellarse.Stefanie Dach - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (Suppl. 1):05-19.
    Wilfrid Sellars’ philosophical system joins issues that have often been regarded as incompatible or at least in mutual tension. Two of these are his holistic approach to language and knowledge on the one hand and his realism on the other hand. In my paper I first outline this tension and then present a number of steps, including the rejection of semantic relations, picturing and the defense of realism, which can help us to accommodate it. I highlight the payoff of these (...)
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  • Dissolving Some Dilemmas for Acquaintance Foundationalism.Ryan Daniel Cobb - unknown
    This essay purports to be a “negative” defense of acquaintance foundationalism. It is “negative” in that I do not do much in the way of advancing novel argument for the position, nor do I extend the position very much. Rather, I focus on demonstrating that the position has the resources to overcome objections that have been proposed to it. In particular, I argue that it can overcome the dilemma proposed by Wilfrid Sellars and developed by Laurence BonJour against foundationalism, as (...)
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  • 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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  • Ontology and the Completeness of Sellars’s Two Images.Willem A. de Vries - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (21).
    Sellars claims completeness for both the “manifest” and the “scientific images” in a way that tempts one to assume that they are independent of each other, while, in fact, they must share at least one common element: the language of individual and community intentions. I argue that this significantly muddies the waters concerning his claim of ontological primacy for the scientific image, though not in favor of the ontological primacy of the manifest image. The lesson I draw is that we (...)
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  • Naturalism, the Autonomy of Reason, and Pictures.Willem A. deVries - 2010 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (3):395-413.
    Sellars was committed to the irreducibility of the semantic, the intentional, and the normative. Nevertheless, he was also committed to naturalism, which is prima facie at odds with his other theses. This paper argues that Sellars maintained his naturalism by being linguistically pluralistic but ontologically monistic . There are irreducibly distinct forms of discourse, because there is an array of distinguishable functions that language and thought perform, but we are not ontologically committed to the array of apparently non-natural entities or (...)
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  • The Individual ‘We’ Narrator.Mattia Gallotti & Raphael Lyne - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (2):ayy051.
    The prevailing assumption in literary studies tends to be that a ‘we’ narrative voice is either that of an individual purporting to speak for a group, or that of a collective of people whose perspectives have coalesced into a unified one. Recent work on social agency across the cognitive humanities suggests another way of understanding what might be conveyed by such a ‘we’. Social cognition research shows that individuals can have their capacities changed and enhanced when they interact with others, (...)
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  • Inferences, Experiences, and the Myth of the Given: A Reply to Champagne.Thomas Wilk - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (1):155-162.
    In a recent article in this journal, Marc Champagne leveled an argument against what Wilfrid Sellars dubbed “the Myth of the Given.” Champagne contends that what is given in observation in the form of a sensation must be able to both cause and justify propositionally structured beliefs. He argues for this claim by attempting to show that one cannot decide which of two equally valid chains of inference is sound without appeal to what is given in experience. In this note, (...)
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  • Wilfrid Sellars.Willem deVries - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Overview of Wilfrid Sellars's philosophy.
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  • Wilfrid Sellars.Jay Rosenberg - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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