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

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

: 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

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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.

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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.

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