Brandom's Two-Ply Error

Paul Coates, W.H. de Vries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Robert Brandom’s discussion of Sellars’s two-ply account of observation in his Tales of the Mighty Dead makes several crucial errors that would make Sellars’s analysis of “looks”-sentences incoherent. Brandom does not recognise the difference in “level” between observation reports concerning physical objects and “looks”-reports, and he denies that “looks”-sentences are reports or even make claims. We argue that a careful reading of Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind does not support Brandom’s interpretation, and show how to read Sellars properly on the analysis of such sentences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmpiricism, Perceptual Knowledge, Normativity and Realism
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on Wilfrid Sellars
EditorsWillem de Vries
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Number of pages15
Volumechapter 5
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-957330-1, 0199573301
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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