The Prospects for Reconciling Sellars' Images: Forty Years Later

Wilfrid Sellars (1963) described his Manifest Image and Scientific Image as (roughly) idealizations of our common sense and scientific views of the world, including our own special role in the world as humans. If, as Sellars suggested, there is an irreconcilable conflict between these images, it may not be possible to reconcile science with common sense. The Scientific Image, as we have inherited it, has a strong reductionist element that seems to imply that things are not really as they appear to common sense. Although some amount of discrepancy between common sense and science is not a problem, since we know from experience that we may be mistaken about nearly any given thing, a systematic clash between science and common sense presents problems for the acceptance of one, the other, or both views.
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