Persons, Peirceish, perfidious pluralism – rescuing Sellars

Authors

  • Paul Giladi Manchester Metropolitan University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4454/philinq.v10i1.386

Keywords:

manifest image, Peirceish, scientific image, negative dialectics, Wilfrid Sellars, Theodor Adorno

Abstract

In Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man (1962), Wilfrid Sellars contends that there is tension between manifest image (MI) and scientific image (SI) discursive formations. To end the tension and resolve the clash between the MI and the SI, Sellars does not aim to reconcile the two images. Rather, through the application of his functional classification semantics, typified by his distinction between logical irreducibility and causal reducibility, he aims to join the normative category of persons to the SI, to enrich and complete the SI. In other words, the way all things hang together stereoscopically in one unified and coherent image is by integrating persons into Peirceish. My principal aim in this paper is to argue that, rather than resolve the clash between the MI and the SI by joining the ‘lifeworldy’ conceptual framework of persons to the SI for the purpose of enriching and completing the SI, what Sellars ought to have done is adopt a negative dialectical ‘resolution’ of the clash between the images. This strategy invites one to dismantle the Placement Problem through the logic of “disintegration.” I take Sellars to have curiously hinted at this Adornian intellectual orientation in the concluding sentence of Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (1956).

 

References

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EPM = 1997, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA).

N&O = 1980b, Naturalism and Ontology: The John Dewey Lectures for 1973-74, Ridgeview Publishing Co, Reseda (CA).

PP = 1977, Philosophical Perspectives: Metaphysics and Epistemology, Ridgeview Publishing Co, Atascadero (CA).

PPPW = 1980a, Pure Pragmatics and Possible Worlds: The Early Essays of Wilfrid Sellars, Ridgeview Publishing Co, Atascadero (CA).

S&M = , 1968, Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes, Routledge, London.

SPR = Science, Perception and Reality, Routledge, London & New York.

WSNDL = 2015, Wilfrid Sellars: Notre Dame Lectures 1969-1986, ed. by P.V. Amaral, Ridgeview Publishing Co, Atascadero (CA).

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2022-03-04

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