The Metaphysics of Epistemology: Lectures by Wilfrid Sellars

The Metaphysics of Epistemology: Lectures by Wilfrid Sellars

Language: English

Pages: 453


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The systematic investigation of the metaphysical foundations of Epistemology. An accessible glimpse of the underpinnings of contemporary philosophy of mind, the relationship between mind and brain, cognitive science and philosophy of mind. The work is free from technical terms and perfectly accessible to those who seek an explanation for the direction being taken by research in psychology, cognitive science and philosophy.

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state or bodily sensation caused by the light (g), and bringing about the blue expanse in the visual field. is it blue. We represent it by a nice little arrow (b). Whammo! There is an arrow-now that is the mental act! Then we have a little object (c), for that mental act which is a blue and rectangular expanse. Wait! Aren't we back to where we were before? We have a mental act of apprehending the blue and rectangular expanse and the fact, F11 that it is blue and rectangular. The answer is

because it is a system of expanses, of color expanse, standing in certain relations to each other which can be talked about in geometrical terms-that is all we mean by "space".) And the public world is in physical space, a space of enduring physical objects that are there whether experienced or not, causally responsible for generating these private experiences-that is the view we are working with. Once you draw this distinction between what you know in vision and what you believe in vision, what

certain times do questions arise; then we criticize them and subdue them and say, "Ha! That merely looked to be the case." When we say that merely looked to be the case, we mean that the spontaneous belief is false because there is something wrong about the circumstance. For example, suppose you casually poke your eye and say, "Ah! Two apples. No! No! There is only one apple because, gee!, I am poking my eye." But the spontaneous belief that I brought about, in those circum­ stances, was: "Oh,

"What is char­ meanings. acteristic of perceptual believing?" I distinguished between reflective, questioning, critical believings about perceptual objects and those spon­ taneous believings which are evoked, given our training, by objects. It is the latter w<> are concerned with. We will put reflective believings, (a), at the top above this domain of unreflective believings (b). I have been calling them "spon­ taneous" but that does not mean spontaneous generation. They are spontaneous in the

packed together in the subject term. From the standpoint of logic, you can unpack. But who cares about that when you are dealing with richer problems pertaining to knowledge, belief and philosophy of mind? From the point of view of the theory of perception, the distinction is a very important one. A person who believes that this red and rectangular item is the surface of a physical object is believing in a red and rectangular item. In the figure above, in the subject position, we find what one

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