Sellars and Contemporary Philosophy  book cover
1st Edition

Sellars and Contemporary Philosophy

ISBN 9780367595630
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
276 Pages

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Book Description

Wilfrid Sellars made profound and lasting contributions to nearly every area of philosophy. The aim of this collection is to highlight the continuing importance of Sellars’ work to contemporary debates. The contributors include several luminaries in Sellars scholarship, as well as members of the new generation whose work demonstrates the lasting power of Sellars’ ideas. Papers by O’Shea and Koons develop Sellars’ underexplored views concerning ethics, practical reasoning, and free will, with an emphasis on his longstanding engagement with Kant. Sachs, Hicks and Pereplyotchik relate Sellars’ views of mental phenomena to current topics in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. Fink, deVries, Price, Macbeth, Christias, and Brandom grapple with traditional Sellarsian themes, including meaning, truth, existence, and objectivity. Brandhoff provides an original account of the evolution of Sellars’ philosophy of language and his project of "pure pragmatics". The volume concludes with an author-meets-critics section centered around Robert Brandom’s recent book, From Empiricism to Expressivism: Brandom Reads Sellars, with original commentaries and replies.

Table of Contents


David Pereplyotchik and Deborah R. Barnbaum

Part I. Ethics, Moral Reasoning, and Free Will

1. Thought, Freedom and Embodiment in Kant and Sellars

James O’Shea

2. Toward a Sellarsian Ethics for the 21st Century

Jeremy Randel Koons

Part II. Philosophy of Language and Mind

3. Pure Pragmatics and the Phenomenology of Linguistic Functions: On Sellars’ Non-Factualistic Conception of Philosophy

Boris Brandhoff

4. What Jones Taught the Ryleans: Towards a Sellarsian Metaphysics of Thought

Michael R. Hicks

5. Sellars and Psycholinguistics

David Pereplyotchik

6. Sentience and Sapience: The Place of Enactive Cognitive Science in Sellarsian Philosophy of Mind

Carl B. Sachs

Part III. Metaphysics and Epistemology

7. Wilfrid Sellars Meets Cambridge Pragmatism

Huw Price

8. An Incoherence in Sellars’ Error Theoretical Account of Color Concepts

Kevin Fink

9. The Causal Articulation of Practical Reality

Willem A. deVries

10. Natural Truth

Danielle Macbeth

11. Does Brandom’s Kant-Sellars Thesis about Modality Undermine Sellars’ Scientific Naturalism?

Dionysis Christias

12. On the Way to a Pragmatist Theory of the Categories

Robert B. Brandom

Part IV. Author Meets Critics

Robert B. Brandom, Willem A. deVries , and James O’Shea

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David Pereplyotchik is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Kent State University. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy, with a concentration in cognitive science, from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Psychosyntax: The Nature of Grammar and Its Place in the Mind (2017) and is an active member of the Wilfrid Sellars Society.

Deborah R. Barnbaum is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts in 1996. She is the author of The Ethics of Autism (2008) and the co-author of Research Ethics: Text and Readings, with Michael Byron (2001).


"[This] is an outstanding collection that perfectly encapsulates what is at stake in Sellars' contemporary resurgence. None of its contributors are content with exegesis: each uses Sellars to intervene in ongoing debates about the nature of mind, meaning, knowledge, and action, as well as the relation between appearance and reality. Its uniform excellence is due not only to the quality of its content but also to the fact that it has been superbly edited. Each chapter marshals its arguments with exemplary economy; claims and counter-‐claims are cross-referenced along with recurring themes to ensure constructive interaction. The result is a volume that succeeds in casting genuinely new light on Sellars' thought."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews