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Sellars and Kant on givenness and intuition

Luigi Filieri

pp. 17-36


In this paper, I argue that Sellars’s conceptualist reading of Kant, though less radical than more contemporary approaches (e. g., Brandom, McDowell), relies on a controversial account of the relations between the givenness of intuitions, the productive imagination and the power of judgment. I will discuss: 1) how Sellars reconsidered Kant’s account of intuition; and 2) the kind of conceptualism he argues for. I will raise two main claims. First, Sellars’s conceptualist reading of intuition overlooks the role of space and time as givenness conditions. Second, Sellars’s account of the productive imagination disregards the complementary significance of the power of judgment in a priori synthesis, the role of which is to grant synthetic unity. My aim is to reconstruct a consistent dialogue between Sellars and Kant by discussing Sellars’s reading of a priori synthesis and comparing his views to Kant’s original aims.

Publication details

Published in:

de Santis Daniele, Manca Danilo (2021) The given: Kantian, Neo-kantian and phenomenological perspectives. Phänomenologische Forschungen – Neue Folge 2021 (2).

Seiten: 17-36


Filieri Luigi (2021) „Sellars and Kant on givenness and intuition“. Phänomenologische Forschungen – Neue Folge 2021 (2), 17–36.