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The rules governing this practice determine essentially three kinds of linguistic performances, corresponding to the categories of perception, inference and action. Sellars , All sentences that have an equivalent norm-governed role within the network of language entry transitions, intra-linguistic moves and language departure transitions within their respective languages have the same intentional content. Sellars , as the utterances which express them have within our language games.

This equivalence of normative-functional role allows us to say that utterances and thoughts have the same content , similarly as equivalent statements in different languages share one and the same meaning. When we ascribe thoughts to a person we are ascribing inner episodes to her, which are characterized in purely normative-functional terms and which causally explain her behaviour.

However, unlike the postulates of scientific theories which can be literally in , i. He provides this explanation with his theory of meaning as normative-functional role in language games. Public utterances according to Sellars do not stand in need of an inner accompaniment in order to be meaningful. Indeed we ascribe thoughts to a person not in order to explain what she said but to explain why she said it. Let us now turn to the question of whether Sellars is committed to the problematic idea that thinking occurs in a language of thought which is constituted by the use of mental signs.

The problem with construing thoughts as occurrences in an inner symbolism is, as Wittgenstein pointed out, that with respect to all forms of symbolic representation, be it spoken, written, gestured or painted, we can always distinguish the symbol from its content.

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We can always ask what a certain symbol, for example a word, or a set of symbols, for example a sentence, means. This cannot be done in the case of thoughts.

Sellars on Foundationalism

Accordingly Sellars characterizes thoughts in purely normative-functional terms, i. Unlike linguistic expressions, which we characterize in semantical statements both with respect to their sign designs and the normative-functional role, which constitutes their meaning, thoughts, according to Sellars, are characterized only with respect to their normative-functional role.

In the Space of Reasons: Selected Essays

Since this role determines the meaning of linguistic expressions, an episode which is characterized only in terms of its normative-functional role, i. Wittgenstein and Sellars on Thinking. Literature Hacker, P. Rosenberg, Jay F.

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Brandom eds. Wittgenstein, Ludwig Notebooks —16 , G. Anscombe and G.

In the Space of Reasons: Selected Essays of Wilfrid Sellars

Anscombe trans. Wittgenstein, Ludwig Philosophical Investigations , G. Three such critical thoughts will be aired in this review. The problem can be put very simply. It makes no sense to accept Hegel but to reject idealism. First, Sellars is careful to explain that the pattern-governed behavior of language-speaking arises from organisms shaped by natural selective pressures. From this, language-training is the crucial element, since we must be taught to speak languages.

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Once language-speakers can talk about the language they speak, they have the conceptual abilities we are interested in analyzing for the sake of epistemology or philosophy of mind. Surely it is a restrictive criterion, but that Access options available:.

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Cambridge, MA: Hackett Publishing. Fodor, J. The Language of Thought. Kosslyn, S. Thompson, and G. Ganis, The Case for Mental Imagery. New York: Oxford University Press.


Luria, A. The Mind of a Mnemonist. New York: Basic Books. McDowell, J. Mind and World. Millikan, R. Wilfrid Sellars: Naturalism with a Normative Turn. Cambridge: Polity Press. Price, H. Naturalism without Mirrors. Expressivism, Pragmatism and Representationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pylyshyn, Z. Quine, W.

Essay In Reason Selected Sellars Space Wilfrid

From a Logical Point of View. Word and Object. Rosenberg, J. Fusing the Images.

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