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Reflective KnowledgeApt Belief and Reflective Knowledge, Volume II$
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Ernest Sosa

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199217250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217250.001.0001

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Mythology of the Given

Mythology of the Given

(p.82) Chapter 5 Mythology of the Given
Reflective Knowledge

Ernest Sosa

Oxford University Press

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

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