Pragmatic concerns and images of the world

Philosophia 38 (4):715-731 (2010)
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Abstract

I defend a pragmatist reinterpretation of Sellars’s famous manifest-scientific distinction. I claim that in order to do justice to this important distinction we must first recognize, despite what philosophers—including, arguably, Sellars—often make of it, that the distinction does not draw an epistemological or metaphysical boundary between different kinds of objects and events, but a pragmatic boundary between different ways in which we interact with objects and events. Put differently, I argue that the manifest-scientific distinction, in my view, can be best understood, not as a metaphysical distinction between apparent and real objects and events, or an epistemological distinction between perceptible and imperceptible objects and events, but rather as a distinction, which is not necessarily rigid over time, between distinct ways in which we collectively deal, in practice, with objects and events.

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Fernando Birman
Delft University of Technology

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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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