Self-Knowledge, Theoretical Knowledge and Scien

Levin, Yakir Self-Knowledge, Theoretical Knowledge and Scien. In: Pre-Proceedings of the 26th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg am Wechsel, pp. 205-207.


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As part of his celebrated attack on the "Myth of the Given� Wilfrid Sellars argues for a radical alternative to the orthodox, neo-Cartesian conception of our knowledge of our own minds – self-knowledge, for short (Sellars 1997; unless otherwise indicated all references are to this work). The orthodox conception finds a particularly elaborate expression in traditional empiricism. On this conception, it is with our own mental states that we hold the most intimate and direct epistemic relation. Therefore, selfknowledge is a paradigm, indeed the paradigm, of noninferential and non-theoretical knowledge. In contrast, Sellars claims that self-knowledge is akin to theoretical knowledge in science. Indeed, in his view self-knowledge illustrates the continuity of science with ordinary thinking (97). At the same time he takes self-knowledge to illustrate the fact that the distinction between the theoretical and the non-theoretical is merely methodological (84). These general points are made fairly clearly by Sellars. However, the argument that he offers on their behalf is rather obscure. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a clear reconstruction of Sellars' argument. But I shall also provide a brief diagnosis of a crucial weakness in the argument due to which it is, ultimately, unsuccessful.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self-Knowledge; Theoretical Knowledge; Science; non-discursive foundationalism; Sellars, W.; Brandom: R;
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Epistemologie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Naturphilosophie
Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2003
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Sprachphilosophie
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2008 10:19
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52

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