SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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Representations without Representationalism: Price’s Sellarsian Pragmatism

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: Huw Price’s long-standing criticism of representationalism is partially mitigated by what he now calls “the new bifurcation thesis.” Central to this thesis is his distinction between “i-representations” and “e-representations”. He finds in Sellars’ distinction between “S-assertability” and “picturing” an anticipation of this distinction. I argue here that while Price correctly claims that Sellars anticipates the new bifurcation thesis, he neglects the role that Sellars assigns to picturing. I develop this aspect of Sellars’ thought by turning to Seibt’s interpretation of picturing, which she shows requires a distinction between high-grade, discursive and low-grade, biological normativity. Hence the new bifurcation thesis is best understood as a bifurcation between kinds of normativity, and not just between kinds of representation. (116 words)


Carl Sachs    
United States


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