Understanding the World and the Self Using Propositions: A Scientific Realist Approach to Knowledge

Andrew Malionek
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Scientific experimentation and observation has become the measuring stick by which more and more people verify and justify reality. It appears that for these men and women truth needs to become more scientific. Wilfrid Sellars hears their cry for a more reliable approach to attaining certain knowledge of reality and the self and offers what he calls the "scientific image of man." This image uses scientific experimentation and philosophical thought to develop a more comprehensive explanation of the self and the real world. This paper will explore Sellars' scientific realist approach to attaining certainty. Ultimately, Sellars says the intellectual attainment of the propositional form of an object guarantees certain knoweldge. Problems with his epistemology will also be examined. The goal of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing dialogue between theologians, philosophers and scientists as to what it means to be a human being and what reality is.

Keywords: Wilfrid Sellars, Epistemology, Propositional Form, Scientific Realism, Ultimate Homogeneity, Sensa
Stream: Language, Linguistics, Knowledge, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Religion, Spirituality, Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Understanding the World and the Self Using Propositions

Andrew Malionek

Theology Instructor, Theology Department, Catholic Memorial
West Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA

Andrew Malionek is a theology instructor at Catholic Memorial. He is presently working towards a PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. He has over seven years teaching experience at both the high school and college levels. His dissertation concerns how reality is known and understood using the cognitive method of Bernard Lonergan. He received a BA from Assumption College and a MA from Boston College. He also spent a summer studying at the Centre for Medieval Studies at Keble College, Oxford University.

Ref: H06P0596