Davidson’s anomalous monism is based on the assumption that a human being can be described or accounted for in two very different ways, using two very different and indeed incommensurable conceptual frameworks, namely the physicalistic vocabulary of science and the mentalistic vocabulary employed by the ‘theories’ we make about each other when we interact and communicate. Also Sellars maintains that we have two alternative pictures of the world and especially of us humans as its parts, namely the scientific image and the manifest image. At first sight, the views of the two philosophers may seem quite similar; however, the true extent of this apparent similarity is worth exploring. To that end, in this paper we tackle the following questions: Are Sellars’ reasons for claiming the irreducibility of his manifest image to the scientific image the same or similar to those that Davidson has for asserting the irreducibility of his mentalistic idiom to the scientific one? Is the normativity informing Sellars’ manifest image of the same kind as that informing Davidson’s mentalistic idiom? Do the notions of rationality considered by Sellars and Davidson coincide?
Philosophia – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 16, 2017
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