How pragmatist was Sellars? Reflections on an analytic Pragmatism

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Title: How pragmatist was Sellars? Reflections on an analytic Pragmatism
Authors: O'Shea, James R.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12411
Date: 3-Sep-2019
Online since: 2021-08-13T11:31:10Z
Abstract: In this chapter I argue that Sellars’s philosophy was deeply pragmatist both in its motivation and in its content, whether considered conceptually, historically, or in his own estimation, and that this is the case even in the important respects in which his views differ from most pragmatists. However, this assessment has been rejected by many recent pragmatists, with “classicalist” pragmatists frequently objecting to Sellars’s analytic-pragmatist privileging of language at the alleged expense of experience, while many analytic pragmatists themselves emphasize that Sellars’s philosophy arguably runs against the grain of pragmatism in central respects, with Brandom for instance recently remarking that “Sellars never explicitly identified himself with pragmatism.” Part I explores the classical pragmatist influences on the development of Sellars’s philosophy, with reference to aspects of the intellectual background in which those views formed. Part II then outlines more abstractly some of the enduring pragmatist themes in Sellars’s philosophy, including his conceptions of the myth of the given, the space of reasons, and his normative-inferentialist theory of meaning. I conclude in Part III with Sellars’s views on truth and “picturing,” which present a complex case for the question of “how pragmatist” Sellars’s views both were and ought to be.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright (published version): 2020 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Classical pragmatismPhilosophical naturalismCorrespondenceRepresentationalism
Subject LCSH: Sellars, Wilfrid, 1912-1989
Other versions: https://www.routledge.com/Wilfrid-Sellars-and-Twentieth-Century-Philosophy-1st-Edition/Brandt-Breunig/p/book/9780815384991
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Brandt, S., Breunig, A. (eds.). Wilfrid Sellars and Twentieth-Century Philosophy
ISBN: 9780815384991
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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