By Willem A. deVries

The 10 essays during this assortment have been written to have fun the fiftieth anniversary of the lectures which turned Wilfrid Sellars's Empiricism and the Philosophy of brain, one of many crowning achievements of 20th-century analytic philosophy. either appreciative and important of Sellars's accomplishment, they interact along with his remedy of the most important concerns in metaphysics and epistemology. the themes comprise the status of empiricism, Sellars's advanced remedy of notion, his dissatisfaction with either foundationalist and coherentist epistemologies, his dedication to realism, and the prestige of the normative (the "logical area of purposes" and the "manifest image"). the amount exhibits how brilliant Sellarsian philosophy is still within the twenty first century.

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Extra info for Empiricism, Perceptual Knowledge, Normativity, and Realism: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars (Mind Association Occasional Series)

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Perhaps there are. ) And Brandom thinks this possibility (or actuality, if that is what it is) lays bare the essential nature of observational knowledge. On this view, experience—a kind of shaping of sensory consciousness—is inessential to the epistemology of observational knowledge, and hence to the epistemology of empirical knowledge in general. If empiricism accords a special epistemological significance to experience, there is no room in this picture for empiricism, traditional or otherwise.

And here too, the support is in the second dimension, which Sellars carefully separates from the dimension in which one bit of knowledge provides inferential grounding for another. It is true that the concept of reliability can be explicated in terms of the goodness of the ‘‘reliability inference’’. But that is irrelevant ⁶ See Making It Explicit, 217–21. The idea is hinted at in the Study Guide; see B: 157, 159. 24 john mcdowell to the present point. To say that a claim depends for its authority, in the second dimension, on the subject’s reliability (in a way that requires her to be aware of her reliability) is not to say that it depends in the first dimension, the inferential dimension, on her inclination to make it via the ‘‘reliability inference’’.

But in EPM it clearly has a more specific purpose as well: to complete the account of experience, in particular, that Sellars begins in part III. The first phase vindicates his promissory talk of experiences as having intentional content, and the second deals with the ‘‘something more’’ he thinks is needed to accommodate their sensory character. And already in part III, when the attribution of intentional content to experiences is still only promissory, and part VIII is yet to come, Sellars has his eye on ensuring that the capacity to yield noninferential knowledge that he is beginning to provide for, by attributing intentional content to experiences, is not as traditional empiricism conceives it.

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