Sellars refuted the claim we can reason from our "fundamental" experience, since all the words we use to report our experience must be affected by our conceptual schema. But Quine's seems to give "observation sentences" a unique status and it's public. So what matters?

  • "Observation sentences" are such only in a pragmatic sense. They are associated with "perceptually similar neural inputs" by conditioning, and "are couched, not in sense-datum language, but directly in the thing language... earliest learned", see Quine, Two Dogmas in Retrospect. In other words, they are no "given", "sense data" or "protocol sentences" of Carnap, and are affected by the learned "conceptual scheme" as Sellars suggested. Indeed, they are similar to Sellars's "perceptual reports". – Conifold Jan 20 '20 at 5:22
  • Can you explain more a bit?How do these sentences be taken of the words? Are they physical sentences or Nureual sentences? – AnduinWilde Jan 20 '20 at 10:54
  • They are sentences like "this apple is green" or "it is raining now" that report perceptions in colloquial language. – Conifold Jan 20 '20 at 12:29
  • But I think it still falls in some prior concepts("green"),and it seems what the "myth of given" aimed at. Or it's my misunderstanding,since the word "Pramgtic" be used?' – AnduinWilde Jan 21 '20 at 13:23
  • Of course, it does, that is the point. According to the myth of the given, one can have "unfiltered" input from reality independent of prior concepts. Observation sentences are not that, so they are not subject to Sellars's criticism. – Conifold Jan 21 '20 at 19:23

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