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Profile: Carl Sachs (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
Profile: Carl Sachs (Marymount University)
  1.  61
    Carl B. Sachs (2014). Intentionality and the Myths of the Given. Pickering and Chatto.
    Intentionality is one of the central problems of modern philosophy. How can a thought, action or belief be about something? Sachs draws on the work of Wilfrid Sellars, C. I. Lewis and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to build a new theory of intentionality that solves many of the problems faced by traditional conceptions. In doing so, he sheds new light on Sellars’s influential arguments concerning the ‘Myth of the Given’ and shows how we can build a productive discourse between American pragmatism, analytical (...)
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  2.  43
    Carl B. Sachs (2014). Discursive and Somatic Intentionality: Merleau-Ponty Contra 'McDowell or Sellars'. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (2):199-227.
    Here I show that Sellars’ radicalization of the Kantian distinction between concepts and intuitions is vulnerable to a challenge grounded in Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of embodiment. Sellars argues that Kant’s concept of ‘intuition’ is ambiguous between singular demonstrative phrases and sense-impressions. In light of the critique of the Myth of the Given, Sellars argues, in the ‘Myth of Jones’, that sense-impression are theoretical posits. I argue that Merleau-Ponty offers a way of understanding perceptual activity which successfully avoids both the Myth of (...)
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  3.  51
    Carl B. Sachs (2012). Resisting the Disenchantment of Nature: McDowell and the Question of Animal Minds. Inquiry 55 (2):131-147.
    Abstract McDowell's contributions to epistemology and philosophy of mind turn centrally on his defense of the Aristotelian concept of a ?rational animal?. I argue here that a clarification of how McDowell uses this concept can make more explicit his distance from Davidson regarding the nature of the minds of non-rational animals. Close examination of his responses to Davidson and to Dennett shows that McDowell is implicitly committed to avoiding the following ?false trichotomy?: that animals are not bearers of semantic content (...)
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  4.  16
    Carl B. Sachs (2015). Response to ‘Somatic Intentionality Bifurcated: A Sellarisan Response to Sachs’s Merleau-Pontyan Account of Intentionality. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (4):562-565.
    Christia (2015) argues that my criticism of Sellars -- that for Sellars, all intentionality is what I call "discursive intentionality" -- relies on a misunderstanding of Sellarsian intuitions (see Sachs 2014). Here I respond to Christias by pointing that that while is correct that Sellars has a distinction between full-blown linguistic intentionality and perceptual takings, Sellars's theory of perceptual takings cannot do justice to the figure/ground structure of embodied perception stressed by Merleau-Ponty.
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  5.  31
    Carl B. Sachs (2008). Nietzsche's Daybreak. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (1):81-100.
    Any interpretation of Nietzsche’s criticisms of morality must show whether or not Nietzsche is entitled both to deny free will and to be concerned with furtheringhuman freedom. Here I will show that Nietzsche is entitled to both claims if his theory of freedom is set in the context of a naturalistic drive-psychology. The drive-psychology allows Nietzsche to develop a modified but recognizable account of freedom as autonomy. I situate this development in Nietzsche’s thought through a close reading of Daybreak. In (...)
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  6.  4
    Carl B. Sachs (2009). Natural Agents: A Transcendental Argument for Pragmatic Naturalism. Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (1):15-37.
    I distinguish between two phases of Rorty’s naturalism: “nonreductive physicalism” (NRP) and “pragmatic naturalism” (PN). NRP holds that the vocabulary of mental states is irreducible to that of physical states, but this irreducibility does not distinguish the mental from other irreducible vocabularies. PN differs by explicitly accepting a naturalistic argument for the transcendental status of the vocabulary of agency. Though I present some reasons for preferring PN over NRP, PN depends on whether ‘normativity’ can be ‘naturalized’.
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  7.  42
    Carl B. Sachs (2007). Adorno: The Recovery of Experience (Review). Journal of Speculative Philosophy 21 (4):330-332.
  8.  34
    Carl B. Sachs (2011). The Shape of a Good Question: McDowell, Evolution, and Transcendental Philosophy. Philosophical Forum 42 (1):61-78.
    I examine John McDowell's attitude towards naturalism in general, and evolutionary theory in particular, by distinguishing between "transcendental descriptions" and "empirical explanations". With this distinction in view we can understand why McDowell holds that there is both continuity and discontinuity between humans qua rational animals and other animals -- there is continuity with regards to empirical explanations and discontinuity with regards to transcendental descriptions. The result of this examination is a clearer assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of McDowell's contribution (...)
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  9.  12
    Carl B. Sachs (2013). Rorty's Debt to Sellarsian Metaphysics. Metaphilosophy 44 (5):682-707.
    Rorty regards himself as furthering the project of the Enlightenment by separating Enlightenment liberalism from Enlightenment rationalism. To do so, he rejects the very need for explicit metaphysical theorizing. Yet his commitments to naturalism, nominalism, and the irreducibility of the normative come from the metaphysics of Wilfrid Sellars. Rorty's debt to Sellars is concealed by his use of Davidsonian arguments against the scheme/content distinction and the nonsemantic concept of truth. The Davidsonian arguments are used for Deweyan ends: to advance secularization (...)
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  10.  7
    Carl B. Sachs (2011). What Is To Be Overcome? Nietzsche, Carnap, and Modernism as the Overcoming of Metaphysic. History of Philosophy Quarterly 28 (3):303-318..
    I examine why Carnap ended his "The Overcoming of Metaphysics" with admiration for Nietzsche, and contextualize his admiration for Nietzsche within their shared commitment to 'modernism.' I show that Carnap's modernism helps explain his enthusiasm for symbolic logic and his attitude towards metaphysics.
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