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Gerard Culhane
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According to Wilfrid Sellars, Empiricist sense datum theories are logical failures because they contain a contradiction in their assumptions.

A. 'X' senses red sense content 's' entails 'x' non-inferentially that 's' is red.

B. The ability to sense sense contents is unacquired.

C. The ability to know facts of the form 'x' is '∅' is acquired.

However A and B together entail not C; B and and C together not A; And A and C not B.
Once the classical sense datum theorist faces up to the fact that A, B & C form an inconsistent triad , which of them will he chose to abandon?

1). He can abandon A in which case the sensing of sense contents becomes a noncognitive fact - a noncognitive fact, to be sure which may be a necessary condition , even a a_logicallya_ necessary condition of non-inferential knowledge, but a fact never the less , which canot constitute knowledge.

2). He can abandon B, in which case he must pay the price of cutting of the concept of a sense datum from it's connection with our ordinary talk about sensations , feelings, afterimages, tickles and itches etc which are normally thought by sense datum theorists to be its common sense counterparts.

3). But to abandon C is to do violence to the nominalistic proclivities of the empiricist tradition.

Wilfrid Sellars p.21, Empiricism and The Philosophy of Mind, 1997 (Brandom; Rorty eds.).

Now if Sellars is correct it appears the empiricist arguments to having a claim on the real world, un-mediated, are bunkum.

Or Sellars is wrong and none of those three statements fails. I'm thinking he's probably correct but if I had to come at him it would be at A . For the moment I won't reveal my hand.

Give it your best shot.


+dfpolis you might like to cut your teeth on this one given your anti Kantian stance.


Is there a discussion going on in here about W. Sellars? His 'Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind' lifted the top of my skull off.

Or a Metzinger debate? Get's my vote for best current model of "mind / consciousness".

Ray brassier's not bad either. Starts from Sellar's, but goes waaaaaay out from there.

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Another side to the Saganator. 

Hey, Frank. Hope you and yours are safe.
The terrible events over the last few days and the implication that other countries near to France may have harboured individuals that were involved should be a wake up to all of us.

Every country in the world harbours people who are mad enough to want go kill innocents. No country,  no people, no ideology is safe, nor is any country or people responsible except those who are directly act on their mad schemes and who insist on dividing us all.

Let's celebrate what is good in our world. Like cycling, where people of all nations compete together on teams with little thought about where they come from. Where teams are more important than the man/woman in most cases. Where we still celebrate  sportsmanship with no regard to anything except the idea of higher ideals.

Peace to everyone on this site. If you love cycling enough to be here then I'm sure you agree with me.
In Australia after a young woman was bullied on a train on her way home simply because she was wearing a head scarf, a huge backlash formed against the haters and a huge outpouring of sympathy and solidarity was led by the hashtag #I'llridewithyou!  (it was meant to be about public transport but its a beautifully adaptable sentiment).

So, I'm sure some people on this site are muslims. My friends, from me you are welcome. We have our first teams from north Africa starting to make big statements on the world stage and world tour races are held in north African countries.

Let's beat these fuckers by showing them they can't make us do what they want us to do - which is to divide ourselves by making us hate each other.

So, #I'llridewithyou. 

And let's get back to racing!

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Hi everyone!

Tomorrow I start a challenge to ride 1000 km's in a single month (October - that's 33 km's a day). It's in aid of children's cancer (and getting fit) and I need sponsors.
Nearly one million Dollars have already been pledged to cancer research through this challenge thus far. I want to help make it a million dollars. I'll do the work. You can help MOTIVATE ME by opening your pockets. If everyone gave just the price of a cup of takeaway coffee I'd make my goal. But I know many of you will want to give a little more than that and I'd be very grateful, as will the kids.
Though this is for kids, everyone gets touched by cancer. I have two friends who died recently from cancer related issues. I have another friend in relapse right now. And many years ago I lost my mum to cancer when she was far too young.
So come on. Let's help kick this fucker to the curb!

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So, just for a laugh and to get away from all the boring debate about Froome doping or not doping - who finds watching the Froome dog ride boring and who finds it eerily, fascinating with that windmill style, all elbows and knees?
25 votes
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votes visible to Public
44%
Great rider but like watching paint dry.
16%
So much style; like a gekko in a blender
40%
Both; too strategic, but hugely funny!

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He's a joker isn't he?

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Lots of people on the deck. Then lots of excited people running and hugging. :-)

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Link to the John Locke lecture series podcasts. The whole series from 2007 to 2011 are available as downloads though not all are relevant to PoM. However the first in the series by Robert Stalnaker titled Starting in the Middle: Our Knowledge of the Internal World, definitely is.
In his first lecture (of 6) Stalnaker does a quick review of internalist (Cartesian / rationalist) versus externalist (Humean / empiricalist) viewpoints within 20th century (mostly analytical) philosophy starting with Hume and ranging across Wilfrid Sellars, David Lewis, Tyler Burge, Putnam, Kripke and Quine. As you can probably tell from the names listed the lectures focus specifically on the debate around externalism versus internalism of mental content or 'meaning'.

From there Stalnaker goes on in the subsequent lectures to drill down in detail using modal 'other worlds' logic to construct an externalist defence.

Warning. This is dense stuff and Stalnaker assumes a reasonable working knowledge of 20th Century analytic thought. If you haven't read at least a few articles by some of the philosophers mentioned above you should probably try those first so you have the parameters and the basic terms down first. 

Not sure if "Language and Linguistics" is really the best description for this but it's as close as I could find given a lot of analytic PoM has a starting point in concerns over meaning attribution and intentions. 

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Podcast series presenting different ways of looking at the 'unconscious'. What is it? How does it effect consciousness etc.
Five lectures up so far and the most recent is 5 days ago so I am hoping there will be more.
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