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This does not mean that there cannot be any semantic externalism that has to rely on the given, but Sellars does not endorse externalism, but a middle way, since all his argument is about that neither (epistemological or/justificational nor semantical) internalism, nor externalism, are viable positions:

In this book, I have done my best to obliterate faith in external realism. But I have set up no new faith in its place. I have not painted a picture which rivals that of reasoning from a God’s Eye point of view. I have found no salvation in any particular philosophy of perception. I have offered no comforting conceptual connection between truth and justification. I have provided no metaphor that explains the relationship of minds, words, and world. I have merely rejected external realism, on the grounds that it is ultimately incoherent.

But I have also rejected internal realism. Although all nightmarish Cartesian sceptical scenarios can be defeated with bivbiv-style arguments [biv = brain-in-a-vat], some less global Cartesian sceptical scenarios remain standing. And since there is no sharp point at which we can say that a sceptic is invoking magic in defence of her sceptical scenarios, I cannot say precisely where I sit between external realism and internal realism. (Button 2013, 221)

As other answers note, there are many kinds of externalism. Sellars discusses justificational and semantic externalism as incoherent, both of which are about language and how its truth/meaning relates to external objects. External realism in particular, on the other hand, is a specifically ontological position, i.e. it is mind-independent entities that ultimately exist.

External realism, even if - as we have noted - not necessarily entailed in semantic realismexternalism, makes some sense when coming together with it: If meaning is constituted through correspondence with objects independent from our mind, it is quite natural to assume that these objects are what we commonly call "world" and that the world actually exists - otherwise, the very concept of being meaningful seems to have a hollow feel to it.

So evenThis is a line of thought Sellars is sympathetic with: Even if Sellars rejects semantic externalisms of his time (we cannot judge later frameworks), he clearly is an external realist, more particularlyspecifically a scientific realist:

This does not mean that there cannot be any semantic externalism that has to rely on the given, but Sellars does not endorse externalism, but a middle way, since all his argument is about that neither (epistemological or semantical) internalism, nor externalism, are viable positions:

In this book, I have done my best to obliterate faith in external realism. But I have set up no new faith in its place. I have not painted a picture which rivals that of reasoning from a God’s Eye point of view. I have found no salvation in any particular philosophy of perception. I have offered no comforting conceptual connection between truth and justification. I have provided no metaphor that explains the relationship of minds, words, and world. I have merely rejected external realism, on the grounds that it is ultimately incoherent.

But I have also rejected internal realism. Although all nightmarish Cartesian sceptical scenarios can be defeated with biv-style arguments, some less global Cartesian sceptical scenarios remain standing. And since there is no sharp point at which we can say that a sceptic is invoking magic in defence of her sceptical scenarios, I cannot say precisely where I sit between external realism and internal realism. (Button 2013, 221)

As other answers note, there are many kinds of externalism. External realism in particular, even if - as we have noted - not necessarily entailed in semantic realism, makes some sense when coming together with it: If meaning is constituted through correspondence with objects independent from our mind, it is quite natural to assume that these objects are what we commonly call "world".

So even if Sellars rejects semantic externalisms of his time (we cannot judge later frameworks), he clearly is an external realist, more particularly a scientific realist:

This does not mean that there cannot be any semantic externalism that has to rely on the given, but Sellars does not endorse externalism, but a middle way, since all his argument is about that neither (epistemological/justificational nor semantical) internalism, nor externalism, are viable positions:

In this book, I have done my best to obliterate faith in external realism. But I have set up no new faith in its place. I have not painted a picture which rivals that of reasoning from a God’s Eye point of view. I have found no salvation in any particular philosophy of perception. I have offered no comforting conceptual connection between truth and justification. I have provided no metaphor that explains the relationship of minds, words, and world. I have merely rejected external realism, on the grounds that it is ultimately incoherent.

But I have also rejected internal realism. Although all nightmarish Cartesian sceptical scenarios can be defeated with biv-style arguments [biv = brain-in-a-vat], some less global Cartesian sceptical scenarios remain standing. And since there is no sharp point at which we can say that a sceptic is invoking magic in defence of her sceptical scenarios, I cannot say precisely where I sit between external realism and internal realism. (Button 2013, 221)

As other answers note, there are many kinds of externalism. Sellars discusses justificational and semantic externalism as incoherent, both of which are about language and how its truth/meaning relates to external objects. External realism, on the other hand, is a specifically ontological position, i.e. it is mind-independent entities that ultimately exist.

External realism, even if - as we have noted - not necessarily entailed in semantic externalism, makes some sense when coming together with it: If meaning is constituted through correspondence with objects independent from our mind, it is quite natural to assume that these objects are what we commonly call "world" and that the world actually exists - otherwise, the very concept of being meaningful seems to have a hollow feel to it.

This is a line of thought Sellars is sympathetic with: Even if Sellars rejects semantic externalisms of his time (we cannot judge later frameworks), he clearly is an external realist, more specifically a scientific realist:

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Keep your externalisms straight

As other answers note, there are many kinds of externalism. External realism in particular, even if - as we have noted - not necessarily entailed in semantic realism, makes some sense when coming together with it: If meaning is constituted through correspondence with objects independent from our mind, it is quite natural to assume that these objects are what we commonly call "world".

So even if Sellars rejects semantic externalisms of his time (we cannot judge later frameworks), he clearly is an external realist, more particularly a scientific realist:

[I]n the dimension of describing and explaining the world, science is the measure of all things, of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not. (EPM, §42)

Keep your externalisms straight

As other answers note, there are many kinds of externalism. External realism in particular, even if - as we have noted - not necessarily entailed in semantic realism, makes some sense when coming together with it: If meaning is constituted through correspondence with objects independent from our mind, it is quite natural to assume that these objects are what we commonly call "world".

So even if Sellars rejects semantic externalisms of his time (we cannot judge later frameworks), he clearly is an external realist, more particularly a scientific realist:

[I]n the dimension of describing and explaining the world, science is the measure of all things, of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not. (EPM, §42)

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EvenSome brands of externalism do indeed run counter to the Myth of the Given. Some forms of the given do indeed take the form of being about meaning. But even if the myth of the given and externalism are not logically incompatible according(according to DeVries/Triplett in their commentary on Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind), Sellars himself does not opt for externalism, nor internalism, but rather a middle way that adopts aspects of both externalism and internalism. It may be that he would have rejected any form of "pure" externalism and argued that there is givenness of some form involved, but we will never know.

Sellars' discussion of the "thermometer view of meaningfulness will have repercussions for his theory of justification as well. On the thermometer view, having a particular meaning is essentially a matter of being correlated with a particular aspect of the environment - just as thermometer indications are about the temperature because they correlate with it under normal conditions. According to the thermometer view, whether there is any inner "understanding" or mental entity associated with an expression is quite irrelevant to the expression's meaning. The expression's meaning is determined solely by facts about what features of the environment its utterance is reliably correlated with.

Indeed, its meaning is what it is correlated with. For example, an occurance of the verbal expression "It is raining" is simply a sign that rain is present - much like the nonverbal behaviour of picking up an umbrella as one walks toward the door. To say a person understands the meaning of "It is raining" on this account is just to say that the person's utterances of these words can be closely correlated with the actual presence of rain in the person's environment, just as the height of a column of mercury in a thermometer can be closely correlated with the surrounding air temperature.

Source: DeVries, W. A., Sellars, W., & Triplett, T. (2000). Knowledge, Mind, and the Given: Reading Wilfrid Sellars's" Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," Including the Complete Text of Sellars's Essay. Hackett Publishing, pp.6665-6766.

Even if the myth of the given and externalism are not logically incompatible according to DeVries/Triplett in their commentary on Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Sellars himself does not opt for externalism, nor internalism, but rather a middle way that adopts aspects of both externalism and internalism. It may be that he would have rejected any form of "pure" externalism.

Sellars' discussion of the "thermometer view of meaningfulness will have repercussions for his theory of justification as well. On the thermometer view, having a particular meaning is essentially a matter of being correlated with a particular aspect of the environment - just as thermometer indications are about the temperature because they correlate with it under normal conditions. According to the thermometer view, whether there is any inner "understanding" or mental entity associated with an expression is quite irrelevant to the expression's meaning. The expression's meaning is determined solely by facts about what features of the environment its utterance is reliably correlated with.

Indeed, its meaning is what it is correlated with. For example, an occurance of the verbal expression "It is raining" is simply a sign that rain is present - much like the nonverbal behaviour of picking up an umbrella as one walks toward the door. To say a person understands the meaning of "It is raining" on this account is just to say that the person's utterances of these words can be closely correlated with the actual presence of rain in the person's environment, just as the height of a column of mercury in a thermometer can be closely correlated with the surrounding air temperature.

Source: DeVries, W. A., Sellars, W., & Triplett, T. (2000). Knowledge, Mind, and the Given: Reading Wilfrid Sellars's" Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," Including the Complete Text of Sellars's Essay. Hackett Publishing, pp.66-67.

Some brands of externalism do indeed run counter to the Myth of the Given. Some forms of the given do indeed take the form of being about meaning. But even if the myth of the given and externalism are not logically incompatible (according to DeVries/Triplett in their commentary on Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind), Sellars himself does not opt for externalism, nor internalism, but rather a middle way that adopts aspects of both externalism and internalism. It may be that he would have rejected any form of "pure" externalism and argued that there is givenness of some form involved, but we will never know.

Sellars' discussion of the "thermometer view of meaningfulness will have repercussions for his theory of justification as well. On the thermometer view, having a particular meaning is essentially a matter of being correlated with a particular aspect of the environment - just as thermometer indications are about the temperature because they correlate with it under normal conditions. According to the thermometer view, whether there is any inner "understanding" or mental entity associated with an expression is quite irrelevant to the expression's meaning. The expression's meaning is determined solely by facts about what features of the environment its utterance is reliably correlated with.

Indeed, its meaning is what it is correlated with. For example, an occurance of the verbal expression "It is raining" is simply a sign that rain is present - much like the nonverbal behaviour of picking up an umbrella as one walks toward the door. To say a person understands the meaning of "It is raining" on this account is just to say that the person's utterances of these words can be closely correlated with the actual presence of rain in the person's environment, just as the height of a column of mercury in a thermometer can be closely correlated with the surrounding air temperature.

Source: DeVries, W. A., Sellars, W., & Triplett, T. (2000). Knowledge, Mind, and the Given: Reading Wilfrid Sellars's" Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," Including the Complete Text of Sellars's Essay. Hackett Publishing, pp.65-66.

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