Chapter

Mythology of the Given

Ernest Sosa

in Reflective Knowledge

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199217250
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191696053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217250.003.0005
Mythology of the Given

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This chapter considers the subtle and complex epistemology developed by Wilfrid Sellars over the course of a long career. At the heart of the Myth of the Given, Sellars finds this claim: that in making observation reports we are guided by prelinguistic takings of the given, whose authority our reports inherit. Finding this unacceptably obscure, Sellars prefers a kind of reliabilism. What gives epistemic authority to an observational report is said to be rather this: its manifesting the speaker's tendency to issue such reports if and only if he then observes the state of affairs described by the report (given, presumably, that the issuing of a report on that question is then called for).

Keywords: Myth of the Given; Wilfrid Sellars; reliabilism; epistemic authority; observation reports

Chapter.  8131 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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