Intentional Relations and the Sideways‐on View: On McDowell's Critique of Sellars

European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):300-319 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX


: McDowell opposes the view that the intentionality of language and thought remains mysterious unless it can be understood ‘from outside the conceptual order’. While he thinks the demand for such a ‘sideways-on’ understanding can be the result of ‘scientistic prejudice’, he points to Sellars's thought as exhibiting a different source: a distortion of our perspective ‘from within the conceptual order’. The distortion involves a failure on Sellars's part to see how descriptions from within the conceptual order can present expressions and mental acts as related to extra-conceptual objects (a failure in turn explained by his failure to see how such relations could have normative import). In this paper, I argue that Sellars's thought suffers from no such distortion. If that is right, McDowell's examination of Sellars has not uncovered a disorder whose treatment might help relieve the desire for a sideways-on view



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,346

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sellars vs. the given.Daniel Bonevac - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):1-30.
Sellars and the "myth of the given".William P. Alston - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):69-86.
The Pittsburgh School, The Given and Knowledge.Tom Rockmore - 2012 - Normative Functionalism and the Pittsburgh School.


Added to PP

102 (#123,252)

6 months
2 (#299,341)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lionel Shapiro
University of Connecticut

Citations of this work

In defense of picturing; Sellars’s philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience.Carl B. Sachs - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (4):669-689.
Relationality of intentionality.Mohammad Saleh Zarepour - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-24.
Consequences of Behaviorism: Sellars and de Laguna on Explanation.Peter Olen - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (2):111-131.
Sellars on the Function of Semantic Vocabulary.Lionel Shapiro - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (4):792-811.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Science, Perception and Reality.Wilfrid Sellars (ed.) - 1963 - New York: Humanities Press.
Inference and meaning.Wilfrid Sellars - 1953 - Mind 62 (247):313-338.

View all 19 references / Add more references