Sellars vs. McDowell on the Structure of Sensory Consciousness
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I argue that John McDowell’s attempt to refute Wilfrid Sellars’s two-component analysis of perceptual experience and substitute for it a conception according to which perceptual experience is the “conceptual shaping of sensory consciousness” fails. McDowell does not recognize the subtle dialectic in Sellars’s thought between transcendental and empirical considerations in favor of a substantive conception of sense impressions, and McDowell’s own proposal seems to empty the notion of sensory consciousness of any real significance.
- Brandom R., Making it Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment, Har- vard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1994.
- Brandom R., Study Guide [in:] Wilfrid Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, with an introduction by Richard Rorty and a Study Guide by Robert Brandom, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1997.
- Brandom R, Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 2000.
- Coates P, The Metaphysics of Perception: Wilfrid Sellars, Perceptual Consciousness and Critical Realism, Routledge, Oxford 2007.
- deVries W.A., Wilfrid Sellars, Philosophy Now Series, Acumen Publishing, Chesham, Bucks 2005.
- Forman D., Learning and the Necessity of Non-Conceptual Content in Sellars’s “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind”, [in:] The Self-Correcting Enterprise: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars, ed. M.P. Wolf and M.N. Lance, Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, vol. 92, Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York 2006: 115-145.
- McDowell J., Having the World in View: Sellars, Kant, and Intentionality, “The Journal of Philosophy” (95) 1998: 431-491.
- McDowell J., Responses: deVries, [in:] John McDowell: Experience, Norm, and Nature, ed. J. Lindgaard, European Journal of Philosophy Book Series, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford 2008.
- McDowell J., Having the World in View: Essays on Kant, Hegel, and Sellars, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 2009.
- O’Shea J., Wilfrid Sellars, Contemporary Thinkers Series, Blackwells/Polity Press, Oxford 2007.
- Schellenberg S., Sellarsian Perspectives on Perception and Non-Conceptual Content, [in:] The Self-Correcting Enterprise: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars, ed. M.P. Wolf and M.N. Lance, Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, vol.92, Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York 2006: 173-196.
- Sellars W., Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (Presented at the University of London in Special Lectures in Philosophy for 1956 under the title “The Myth of the Given: Three Lectures on Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind”), “Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science”, ed. H. Feigl and M. Scriven, Vol. I, 1956: 253-329. Reprinted in SPR with additional footnotes. Published separately as Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, with an Introduction by Richard Rorty and a Study Guide by Robert Brandom, ed. Robert Brandom, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1997. Also reprinted in W. de Vries and T. Triplett, Knowledge, Mind, and the Given: A Reading of Sellars’ “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind”, Hackett Publishing, Indianapolis/Cambridge, MA 2000. [KMG]
- Sellars W., Science, Perception and Reality, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1963. Re-issued by Ridgeview Publishing Company (Atascadero, CA) in 1991.
- Sellars W., The Structure of Knowledge: (I) Perception; (II) Minds; (III) Epistemic Principles, [in:] Action, Knowledge and Reality: Studies in Honor of Wilfrid Sellars, ed. H.-N. Castañeda, Bobbs-Merrill, New York 1975. [SK]
- Sellars W., Some Reflections on Perceptual Consciousness, [in:] Crosscurrents in Philosophy: Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, vol. 71, ed. R. Bruzina & B. Wilshire, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague 1978: 169-85. [SRPC]
- Sellars W, Foundations for a Metaphysics of Pure Process [The Carus Lectures], “The Monist” (64) 1981: 3-90. [FMPP]
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