Sellars Week 9 notes 09-10-28 h

Sellars Week 9 notes 09-10-28 h - Brandom Sellars Week 9...

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Brandom Sellars Week 9 Notes “Being and Being Known” (1960) “The Lever of Archimedes” (1981—First Carus Lecture) 1. TLA is a late, on the whole disappointing piece. (Certainly it was a disappointment as the opening one of the much-anticipated, much-delayed Carus lectures.) It is an intricate discussion of a 1949 essay of Roderick Firth, and of WS’s debate with Roderick Chisholm (the two ‘Roderick’s). It is a very careful, subtle, and sensitive working out of a dialectic, in which he shows great sensitivity to the possibilities of the positions with which he is disagreeing. 2. The 1960 “Being and Being Known” ( BBK )—given the same year as “Phenomenalism”, just after the two 1959 GE lectures, and just before NS —tries to say what is right and what is wrong about the Thomistic neo-Aristotelian “doctrine of the mental word.” It is by far the most sophisticated discussion of this topic I have ever seen. I am an amateur with that scheme, needing to be guided by his account. He also has an intertwined discussion of Descartes, as insisting that “direct knowledge” of our sensations must be “non-analogical” knowledge of them. This is largely orthogonal to the main discussion (it sets up a final point functionalist point at [228] passage (37)), and I won’t say much about it. I’ll discuss two issues about this essay: a) A fascination passage on two kinds of logical “words”. b) The main discussion, which is summarized in the passage from [227] in (7) below, also at . I shall argue that a confusion between signifying and picturing is the root of the idea that the intellect as signifying the world is the intellect as informed in a unique (or immaterial) way by the natures of things in the real order. [218-9]. [218-9] at (22) in the Passages. As that passage makes clear, everything turns on the distinction between two kinds of isomorphism between words and world: picturing and signifying . So we must get clear about that. c) Throughout he works in a framework that distinguishes “the real order” from “the logical order”, or, apparently equivalently, “the intentional order.” Words regarded one way are in the real order and stand in picturing relations; regarded another way, they are in the logical-intentional order, and stand in signification relations. 3. Here is the focal passage on logic : [T]he intellect in first act has logical words in its vocabulary. Some of these logical words are, in the contemporary phrase, ‘truth-functional connectives’ (e.g. and and not ), the most significant feature of which is that if a sentence
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Brandom or group of sentences is about the real order, the sentence which is formed from them by the use of these connectives is also about the real order . Thus Socrates is not wise is as much about the real order as Socrates is wise . Other logical words, e.g. implies in the sense of logical implication, are such that sentences involving them are about the
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Sellars Week 9 notes 09-10-28 h - Brandom Sellars Week 9...

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