Sellars on Perception, Science, and Realism: A Critical Response

Normative Functionalism and the Pittsburgh School (2012)
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Abstract

DeVries’ article “Sellars, Realism, and Kantian Thinking” misinterprets my argument that Sellars cannot show a sufficient degree of perceptual access for science to produce knowledge of “things-in-themselves” as involving a Cartesian characterization of Sellars. In correcting this misinterpretation (among many others), I will show that there are aspects of Sellars’ views on sensory receptivity, analogies, and representation that are at odds with the epistemic claim Sellars makes in regard to knowing the thing-in-itself, which deVries fails to acknowledge. In highlighting the nature of these internal discrepancies, I argue that Sellars’ and deVries’ (reading of Sellars’) account of science’s ability to achieve metaphysical realism entails criteria for knowing the thing-in-itself that is normative and/or presumed rather than the product of scientific discovery. In short, this paper has two foci: first, to respond to deVries’ misinterpretations of my account of Sellars, and second, to show that the traditional analytic commitment to metaphysical realism is central to Sellars, as well as to his readers, but cannot be sustained.

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Patrick Reider
Duquesne University

Citations of this work

Realismus a jazyk: Recept podle Sellarse.Stefanie Dach - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (Suppl. 1):05-19.

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