Does Observational Knowledge Require Metaknowledge? A Dialogue on Sellars

Academic Article


  • In the following dialogue between TT -- a foundationalist -- and WdeV -- a Sellarsian, we offer our differing assessments of the principle for observational knowledge proposed in Wilfrid Sellars's "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind". In the ensuing dialogue, TT argues that it sets the bar too high when knowledge 'about' perceptual conditions is required for ordinary observational knowledge -- that young children, for example, are implausibly excluded as knowers given Sellars's principle. WdeV defends Sellars's metaknowledge requirement against these charges. Results from developmental psychology are surveyed for what they show about the actual capabilities of young children. The implications of these results for the success of Sellars's principle are debated. (edited)
  • Authors

  • Triplett, Timm
  • deVries, Willem
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 26, 2007
  • Has Subject Area

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 23
  • End Page

  • 51
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 1