Self-Knowledge, Theoretical Knowledge and Scien

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As part of his celebrated attack on the "Myth of the\ud Given� Wilfrid Sellars argues for a radical alternative to the\ud orthodox, neo-Cartesian conception of our knowledge of\ud our own minds – self-knowledge, for short (Sellars 1997;\ud unless otherwise indicated all references are to this work).\ud The orthodox conception finds a particularly elaborate\ud expression in traditional empiricism. On this conception, it\ud is with our own mental states that we hold the most\ud intimate and direct epistemic relation. Therefore, selfknowledge\ud is a paradigm, indeed the paradigm, of noninferential\ud and non-theoretical knowledge. In contrast,\ud Sellars claims that self-knowledge is akin to theoretical\ud knowledge in science. Indeed, in his view self-knowledge\ud illustrates the continuity of science with ordinary thinking\ud (97). At the same time he takes self-knowledge to illustrate\ud the fact that the distinction between the theoretical and the\ud non-theoretical is merely methodological (84). These\ud general points are made fairly clearly by Sellars. However,\ud the argument that he offers on their behalf is rather\ud obscure. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a\ud clear reconstruction of Sellars' argument. But I shall also\ud provide a brief diagnosis of a crucial weakness in the\ud argument due to which it is, ultimately, unsuccessful
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationPapers from the 26th International Wittgenstein Symposia in Kirchberg am Wechsel
EditorsW. Löffler, P. Weingartner
StatePublished - 2003


  • Epistemologie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Naturphilosophie
  • Kirchberg 2003
  • Sprachphilosophie


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