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Week 5 NS notes 09-9-27 e

Week 5 NS notes 09-9-27 e - Brandom Sellars Week 5"Naming...

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Brandom Sellars Week 5 (“Naming and Saying”) Notes 1. LW in Tractatus : Two alternatives, either complex objects represent (don’t say ‘name’) facts, or facts about names do. Facts vs. complex objects. Jumblese. 2. “Of particular interest in this connection would be the Jumblese translation of Appearance and Reality .” [105] Q: Why? A: Because of his regress-of-relations argument (compare: Lewis Carroll): If we say that R relates a and b , then we can ask how a and b are related to R . Let us suppose the answer is R’ , a matter of their standing to the relation as its relata. But what is the relation between relations and their relata? In particular, how are a and b related to relation R’ , the relation of being relata of a relation? Call this relation R’’ . This is a vicious regress, Bradley argues, because we can’t understand any of the earlier relational statements without already understanding the later ones. He takes it to show that the idea of external relations is incoherent. WS is claiming that this argument cannot be formulated in the perspicuous language of Jumblese. Indeed, at [122] WS says what he means by “perspicuous language” for the purposes of this essay: “in a perspicuous language, i.e. a language which had a built-in protection against Bradley’s puzzle…”. 3. Discuss world-of-facts (LW, me) vs. world-of-objects (WS). One cost of former is that facts are about objects. So one needs an objective , mind-independent notion of aboutness . I think one can get that by substitution. One cost of the former is that one must treat facts as arrangements or configurations of objects, and that only seems to work for (at most) atomic facts. All others will need to be given some other analysis. And monadic facts seem particularly troubling. The issues about universals —nominalism, realism, conceptualism— are related to this question in complex ways. 4. Sellars’s idealism : Sellars seems to think that all universals, all properties, all repeatables (cf. psychological nominalism) are ultimately to be understood in terms of linguistic functional repeatables. This is also a pragmatism . 5. WS starts off the essay by agreeing with and enforcing LW’s point that facts picture facts. But in the end, Sellars does not believe in facts, at least, not in the pictured ones, only in the picturing ones—the linguistic ones. That is the ‘idealism’ I accuse him of (take him to endorse) in (4) above.
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