Sellars, Wilfrid Stalker (1912–89)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD065-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 15, 2024, from

List of works

  • Sellars, W.S. (1963) Science, Perception and Reality, London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul; repr. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1991.

    (Contains Sellars’ best-known essays, including his classical critique of the ‘Myth of the Given’, ‘Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind’, and his metaphilosophical manifesto, ‘Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man’.)

  • Sellars, W.S. (1967) Philosophical Perspectives, Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas; repr. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1977, 2 vols.

    (Work from the 1950s and early 1960s. Part 1 consists of historical essays on Plato, Aristotle and the Rationalists. Part 2 includes important original essays in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind.)

  • Sellars, W.S. (1968) Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes, The John Locke Lectures for 1965–6, London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul; repr. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1992

    (Based on his John Locke Lectures for 1965–6. The most systematic presentation of Sellars’ views on perception, intentionality, representation, truth and the metaphysics and ethics of persons, developed in relation to the work of Kant, Peirce and the early Wittgenstein.)

  • Sellars, W.S. (1974) Essays in Philosophy and Its History, Dordrecht: Reidel.

    (A rich collection of historical interpretive and systematic essays from Sellars’ most productive years. Includes his presidential address to the American Philosophical Association on the Kantian text ‘this I or he or it (the thing) which thinks…’, as well as significant contributions to the philosophy of language, metaphysics and the philosophy of science.)

  • Sellars, W.S. (1980) Naturalism and Ontology, Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

    (Sellars’ John Dewey Lectures for 1973–4 present his mature views on the interrelationships of language, logic and ontology. The most systematic defence of his ‘linguistic nominalism’.)

  • Sellars, W.S. (1981a) Pure Pragmatics and Possible Worlds, ed. and with intro. by J.F. Sicha, Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

    (A comprehensive collection of Sellars’ earliest works (1947–53). These richly textured and dialectically complex early essays are difficult to access, but, besides offering a developmental perspective on Sellars’ overall corpus, they include a number of interesting ideas and theses not explicitly developed in his later work.)

  • Sellars, W.S. (1981b) ‘Foundations for a Metaphysics of Pure Process’, Monist 64: 3–90.

    (A special issue of the Monist, containing Sellars’ Carus Lectures from 1977–8. This is the most developed and systematic presentation of Sellars’ unique views in the philosophy of mind. The title reflects his conviction that sensible qualities can be satisfactorily accommodated within a naturalistic worldview only in the context of a (speculatively-envisioned) ontology of ‘pure processes’.)

  • Sellars, W.S. (1989) The Metaphysics of Epistemology: Lectures by Wilfrid Sellars, ed. P.V. Amaral, Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

    (This posthumously published work reproduces a series of university lectures given by Sellars in 1975 on central topics in epistemology and metaphysics. In sharp contrast to his densely written essays, Sellars’ classroom presentations tended to be discursively relaxed and informal. This charmingly illustrated book is consequently a good first introduction to his complex views regarding perception, knowledge, minds, meaning and representation.)

References and further reading.

  • Castañeda, H.-N. (1975) Action, Knowledge, and Reality: Critical Studies in Honor of Wilfrid Sellars, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

    (A collection of critical studies of Sellars’ work by his students and colleagues. The book also contains two important pieces of original Sellarsiana, his intellectual autobiography and ‘The Structure of Knowledge’, a systematic treatment of epistemological themes based on Sellars’ 1971 Machette Foundation Lectures at the University of Texas.)

  • Delaney, C.F. et al. (1977) The Synoptic Vision: Essays on the Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

    (Interpretive and critical essays on Sellars’ views and contributions in epistemology, ontology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and ethics by members of the philosophical faculty of Notre Dame University. The title echoes Sellars’ thesis that contemporary philosophy is challenged with fusing two comprehensive worldviews, the ‘manifest image’ and the ‘scientific image’ into a single ‘synoptic’ picture.)

  • Pitt, J.C. (1978) The Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars: Queries and Extensions, Dordrecht: Reidel.

    (Fourteen interpretive and critical essays deriving from a Workshop on the Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars held at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1976.)

  • Seibt, J. (1990) Properties as Processes: A Synoptic Study of Wilfrid Sellars’ Nominalism, Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

    (The first full-scale, systematic, book-length study of Sellars’ philosophy, written by one of his last doctoral students and described by Sellars himself as ‘one of the best essays on my work that I have ever seen’. This presentation of Sellars as ‘a unique example of radical and systematic nominalism’ is indispensable for any serious student of his views.)

Citing this article:
Rosenberg, Jay F.. Bibliography. Sellars, Wilfrid Stalker (1912–89), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD065-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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