To give you some background details about myself: I have a deep interest in Quine's work and Naturalism in Philosophy; I have been independently studying and reading Quine's work and his relation to other philosophers, in particular the relation between Quine's work and Sellars's work: Quine's naturalized epistemology in relation to Sellars's naturalism.
For a while now, two questions have bothered me, both pertaining to the 'Myth of the Given': (1) does Quine's naturalized epistemology fall prey to the 'Myth of the Given'? and the related question (2) is the 'Third Dogma of Empiricism an issue for Quine's naturalized epistemology?
Here is some research I have done over time relevant to the content of these questions:
- I have watched a conversation between Quine and Davidson circa 1997 on the third dogma:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f9fgzbT9rs
- this paper by Robert Sinclair on Quine and the 'Third Dogma': https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.2041-6962.2007.tb00060.x
- This paper by Lars Bergstöm: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.490.8640&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find many sources where Quine explicitly comments on the "myth of the given" and I haven't been able to find many papers where this issue is discussed relative to Quine's philosophy. In particular, the issue that has troubled me is Quine's 'observation-sentences': Quine States that they are conditioned to certain neural events, my concern is whether this 'conditioning' violates the myth of the given by making a non-propositional item give support to a propositional item. Moreover, I am concerned that the observation sentence itself serves as a source of ultimate evidence, a foundation. My gut feeling is that Quine's work survives Sellars's criticisms and that Sellars's work has problems endemic to the "first-philosophy" short-comings that Quine rejected as per IEP: Willard Van Orman Quine: Philosophy of Science:
The basic conception of philosophy and philosophical practice that informs his discussion of science is commonly known as naturalism, a view that recommends the “abandonment of the goal of a first philosophy prior to natural science” (1981, 67), which further involves a “readiness to see philosophy as natural science trained upon itself and permitted free use of scientific findings” (1981, 85) and lastly, recognizes that “…it is within science itself, and not in some prior philosophy, that reality is to be identified and described” (1981, 21).