- Sellars on Perceptual Knowledge
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 53, Number 3, Summer 2017
- pp. 425-446
- View Citation
- Additional Information
In Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, after criticizing one of the forms that the Myth of the Given adopts, Sellars presents his own conception of epistemic justification. This conception, along with his criticism of the framework of the Given, has had a great impact on the analytic philosophy of the second half of twentieth century, an impact that still persists today. In this article, I aim to examine Sellars's theory of epistemic justification in order to highlight two important problems with it. The first concerns the justification of observation reports; the second concerns the understanding of those reports. I argue that those problems do not find a suitable solution within Sel-lars's theory of observational knowledge. My diagnosis is that the root cause of those problems lies in an inadequate conception of perceptual experience. This prevents Sellars from realizing the essential epistemic role that experience plays in the justification and understanding of such particular statements.