Wilfrid Sellars on the Nature of Thought

Chapter · January 1987with 25 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-009-3735-2_9
Issn: 0068-0346
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Abstract
Wilfrid Seilars is, I believe, exceptional among contemporary philosophers for the seriousness of his concern to recognize both the power of the scientific enterprise and the centrality of our ordinary understanding of ourselves as persons. Sellars holds both that “science is the measure of what is and what is not” and that “if man had a radically different conception of himself he would be a radically different kind of man,” for “man is what he is because he thinks of himself in terms of this image [the manifest image, our ordinary way of understanding ourselves]” (Sellars, 1963a, pp. 6 and 15). Sellars’ goal is the formulation of a synoptic vision of human beings in the world, a scientific vision that does justice to our ordinary view of ourselves as sensory, conceptual and intentional agents.
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