Philosophia 45 (3):1039-1062 (2017)

Dionysis Christias
University of Patras
In this article, we will attempt to understand Sellars’ puzzling notion of ‘adequate picturing’ and its relation to the Sellarsian ‘conceptual order’ through Spinoza’s intuitive knowledge. First, it will be suggested that there are important structural similarities between Sellarsian ‘adequate picturing’ and Spinoza’s intuitive knowledge which can illuminate some ‘dark’ and not so well understood features of Sellarsian picturing. However, there remain some deep differences between Sellars’ and Spinoza’s philosophy, especially with regard to their notion of ‘adequacy’ and the sense in which an idea can be said to ‘correspond’ with its object. As a consequence of those differences it turns out that, from a Sellarsian viewpoint, Spinoza’s notion of intuitive knowledge is a version of the myth of the Given. However, Sellars’ own proposed way out of the Myth has problematic consequences by Sellars’ own lights: His sharp distinction between the ‘space of reasons’ level and the level of picturing makes the Sellarsian vision of the ‘stereoscopic fusion’ of those levels virtually unintelligible. Finally, it will be argued that a non-standard interpretation of Spinoza’s intuitive knowledge -proposed in Baltas -, combined with a Sellars-inspired bifurcated understanding of Dreyfusian expert knowledge, can provide the means 1) for constructing a notion of intuitive knowledge that evades the myth of the Given, and, 2) for making full sense of the claim that the ‘space of reasons’ dimension of understanding the world can in principle be fused with the ‘picturing’ dimension and provide us with a single complex coherent experience of reality and our place in it.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-017-9823-2
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References found in this work BETA

Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce.Charles S. Peirce - 1931 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The Return of the Myth of the Mental.Hubert L. Dreyfus - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):352 – 365.
What Myth?John Mcdowell - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):338 – 351.
Overcoming the Myth of the Mental: How Philosophers Can Profit From the Phenomenology of Everyday Expertise.Hubert L. Dreyfus - 2005 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 79 (2):47 - 65.

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