Investigation of Wilfrid Sellar’s Epistemological Opinions


Abbas-Ali Amiri / PhD of Transcendental Philosophy IKI   

Muhammad Hussein-zade Yazdi / Professor in Department of Philosophy IKI

Received: 2019/03/13 - Accepted: 2019/07/16


Throughout history of epistemology, many attacks have been launched on the theory of foundationalism. It can be certainly said that none of them was as important as the attack launched by Sellars. Indeed, by criticizing “datum” – as the basis of the empirical foundationalism – and calling it fable, Sellars ruins the basis of non-deductive beliefs for leading to knowledge. In the aftermath of Sellars’ critiques on “datum”, the foundationalists faced a crisis, and Sellars attempts to put forward novel discussions such as logical atmosphere of the reasons, psychological nominalism, and methodological behaviorism in epistemology to find a proper solution for the crisis he himself created. The most prominent result of Sellars’ attacks on the empiricists’ foundationalism is the negation of “direct awareness” of the subject. Muslim philosophers believe that negating the “direct awareness” would ruin the basis for any knowledge in the subject and would deface the basis for his access to knowledge. Investigating Sellars’ view in negation of the direct awareness and evaluating its alternative solution is among the goals of the present article.

KEY WORDS: Sellars, datum, methodological behaviorism, psychological nominalism, logical atmosphere of the reasons, intuitive knowledge.


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