Intentionality in Sellars
A Transcendental Account of Finite Knowledge
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This book argues that Sellars’ theory of intentionality can be understood as an advancement of a transcendental philosophical approach. It shows how Sellars develops his theory of intentionality through his engagement with the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant.
The book delivers a provocative reinterpretation of one of the most problematic and controversial concepts of Sellars' philosophy: the picturing-relation. Sellars' theory of intentionality addresses the question of how to reconcile two aspects that seem opposed: the non-relational theory of intellectual and linguistic content, and a causal-transcendental theory of representation inspired by the philosophy of the early Wittgenstein. The author explains how both parts cohere in a transcendental account of finite knowledge. He claims that this can only be achieved by reading Sellars as committed to a transcendental methodology inspired by Kant. In a final step, he brings his interpretation to bear on the contemporary metaphilosophical debate on pragmatism and expressivism.
Intentionality in Sellars will be of interest to scholars of Sellars and Kant, as well as researchers working in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophy.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Ray Brassier
1. Transcendental Methodology
2. Transcendental Psychology
3. Perceptual Experience
5. Transcendental Phenomenalism
6. Objections and Consequences
Luz Christopher Seiberth is a lecturer at the chair for theoretical philosophy at the University of Potsdam where received his Ph.D. in philosophy. He is the co-editor of Fraught with Ought: Writings from Wilfrid Sellars on Mind, Meaning, and Metaphysics (forthcoming). And he is the organiser of the International Sellars Colloquium (www.wilfridsellars.org).
"It has long been accepted that Sellars is a Kantian philosopher, but until now we lacked a detailed understanding of what that meant and why it mattered. Seiberth’s monograph demonstrates in detail that Sellars was not just a Kantian philosopher but also a first-rate Kant scholar. Seiberth shows that Sellars’s claims about Kant can withstand intense critical scrutiny and meticulous comparison with Kant’s texts and arguments. With hermeneutic sensitivity and analytic acumen Seiberth shows that Sellars’s engagement with Kant is inseparable from his philosophy. He also shows that contemporary Kant scholars cannot afford to ignore Sellars."
Carl B. Sachs, Marymount University, USA
"In this serious, in-depth book, the author underlines the strong Kantian streak in Sellars’s system and emphasizes the crucial work of the picture theory, two fundamental yet often neglected aspects of Sellars’s theory of intentionality."
Patrice Philie, University of Ottawa, Canada