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James O'Shea [14]James R. O'Shea [4]
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James O'Shea
University College Dublin
  1.  73
    How Pragmatist Was Sellars? Reflections on an Analytic Pragmatism.James O'Shea - 2020 - In Stefan Brandt & Anke Breunig (eds.), Wilfrid Sellars and Twentieth-Century Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 110–29.
    ABSTRACT: In this chapter I argue that Sellars’s philosophy was deeply pragmatist both in its motivation and in its content, whether considered conceptually, historically, or in his own estimation, and that this is the case even in the important respects in which his views differ from most pragmatists. However, this assessment has been rejected by many recent pragmatists, with “classicalist” pragmatists frequently objecting to Sellars’s analytic-pragmatist privileging of language at the alleged expense of experience, while many analytic pragmatists themselves emphasize (...)
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  2.  65
    Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy: The ‘Analytic’ Tradition.James O'Shea - forthcoming - In Sorin Baiasu & Mark Timmons (eds.), The Kantian Mind. Routledge.
    ABSTRACT: In a previous article (O’Shea 2006) I provided a concise overview of the reception of Kant’s philosophy among analytic philosophers during the periods from the ‘early analytic’ reactions to Kant in Frege, Russell, Carnap and others, to the systematic Kant-inspired works in epistemology and metaphysics of C. I. Lewis and P. F. Strawson, in particular. In this chapter I use the recently reinvigorated work of Wilfrid Sellars (1912–1989) in the second half of the twentieth century as the basis for (...)
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  3.  57
    Sellars' Exam Question Trilemma - Are Kant's Premises Analytic, or Synthetic A Priori, or A Posterior.James R. O'Shea - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (2):402-421.
    ABSTRACT Wilfrid Sellars argued that Kant’s account of the conceptual structures involved in experience can be given a linguistic turn so as to provide an analytic account of the resources a language must have in order to be the bearer of empirical knowledge. In this paper I examine the methodological aspects of Kant’s transcendental philosophy that Sellars took to be fundamental to influential themes in his own philosophy. My first aim here is to clarify and argue for the plausibility of (...)
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  4.  49
    The Analytic Pragmatist Conception of the A Priori: C. I. Lewis and Wilfrid Sellars.James O'Shea - 2018 - In Maria Baghramian & Sarin Marchetti (eds.), Pragmatism and the European Traditions: Encounters with Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology Before the Great Divide. London: Routledge. pp. 203–227.
    ABSTRACT: It is a familiar story that Kant’s defence of our synthetic a priori cognition in the Critique of Pure Reason suffered sharp criticism throughout the extended philosophical revolutions that established analytic philosophy, the pragmatist tradition, and the phenomenological tradition as dominant philosophical movements in the first half of the twentieth century. One of the most important positive adaptations of Kant’s outlook, however, was the combined analytic and pragmatist conceptions of the a priori that were developed by the American philosophers (...)
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  5.  48
    On Sellars’s Analytic-Kantian Conception of Categories as Classifying Conceptual Roles.James O'Shea - forthcoming - In Javier Cumpa (ed.), Categorial Ontologies: From Realism to Eliminativism. Routledge.
    ABSTRACT: I argue that Sellars’s metaconceptual theory of the categories exemplifies and extends a long line of nominalistic thinking about the nature of the categories from Ockham and Kant to the Tractatus and Carnap, and that this theory is far more central than has generally been realized to each of Sellars’s most famous and enduring philosophical conceptions: the myth of the given, the logical space of reasons, and resolving the ostensible clash between the manifest and scientific images of the human (...)
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  6.  42
    Inferentialism, Naturalism, and the Ought-To-Bes of Perceptual Cognition.James O'Shea - 2018 - In Vojtěch Kolman Ondřej Beran (ed.), From Rules to Meanings: New Essays on Inferentialism. New York: Routledge. pp. 308–22.
    Abstract: Any normative inferentialist view confronts a set of challenges in the form of how to account for the sort of ordinary empirical descriptive vocabulary that is involved, paradigmatically, in our noninferential perceptual responses and knowledge claims. This chapter lays out that challenge, and then argues that Sellars’ original multilayered account of such noninferential responses in the context of his normative inferentialist semantics and epistemology shows how the inferentialist can plausibly handle those sorts of cases without stretching the notion of (...)
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  7.  41
    'William James on Percepts, Concepts, and the Function of Cognition'.James O'Shea - 2019 - In Alexander Klein (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of William James.
    ABSTRACT: Central to both James’s earlier psychology and his later philosophical views was a recurring distinction between percepts and concepts. The distinction evolved and remained fundamental to his thinking throughout his career as he sought to come to grips with its fundamental nature and significance. In this chapter, I focus initially on James’s early attempt to articulate the distinction in his 1885 article “The Function of Cognition.” This will highlight a key problem to which James continued to return throughout his (...)
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  8.  56
    ‘Psychological Nominalism’ and the Given, From Abstract Entities to Animal Minds.James O'Shea - 2017 - In In: Patrick J. Reider, ed., Wilfrid Sellars, Idealism and Realism: Understanding Psychological Nominalism (London and New York: Bloomsbury), 2017: pp. 19–39. London: pp. 19-39.
    ABSTRACT: Sellars formulated his thesis of 'psychological nominalism' in two very different ways: (1) most famously as the thesis that 'all awareness of sorts…is a linguistic affair', but also (2) as a certain thesis about the 'psychology of the higher processes'. The latter thesis denies the standard view that relations to abstract entities are required in order to explain human thought and intentionality, and asserts to the contrary that all such mental phenomena can in principle ‘be accounted for causally' without (...)
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  9.  27
    O'Shea, J. (2019) Review of Dennis Schulting, Kantian Nonconceptualism (Palgrave 2016), in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (Online). [REVIEW]James O'Shea - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:online.
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  10.  45
    What to Take Away From Sellars’s Kantian Naturalism.James O'Shea - 2016 - In James R. O’Shea, ed., Sellars and His Legacy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Oxford, UK: pp. 130–148.
    ABSTRACT: I contend that Sellars defends a uniquely Kantian naturalist outlook both in general and more particularly in relation to the nature and status of what he calls ‘epistemic principles’; and I attempt to show that this remains a plausible and distinctive position even when detached from Sellars’s quasi-Kantian transcendental idealist contention that the perceptible objects of the manifest image strictly speaking do not exist, i.e., as conceived within that common sense framework. I first explain the complex Kant-inspired sense in (...)
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  11.  35
    Sellars's Interpretive Variations on Kant's Transcendental Idealist Themes.James O'Shea - 2018 - In Luca Corti & Antonio Nunziante (eds.), Sellars and the History of Modern Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 79-96.
    O'Shea concludes that Sellars's attempts to preserve the core truths in Kant's theory of experience and to integrate them with an overall scientific naturalist outlook can and should survive the rejection of several central components of Sellars's proposed adaptation of Kant's transcendental idealism: ABSTRACT: "Sellars’ career-long engagement with Kant’s philosophy involved both readings of Kant and appropriations of Kant that are nuanced, original, and related in complex ways to Sellars’ own philosophical views. In some ways similar to Strawson’s classic reading, (...)
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  12.  15
    ‘Conceptual Thinking and Nonconceptual Content: A Sellarsian Divide’.James R. O'Shea - 2010 - In James R. O'Shea & Eric Rubenstein (eds.), Self, Language, and World: Problems from Kant, Sellars, and Rosenberg. Ridgeview Publishing Company.
    Central to Sellars’ account of human cognition was a clear distinction, expressed in varying terminology in his different works, “between conceptual and nonconceptual representations.” Those who have come to be known as ‘left-wing Sellarsians’, such as Richard Rorty, Robert Brandom, and John McDowell, have tended to reject Sellars’ appeals to nonconceptual sensory representations. So-called ‘right-wing Sellarsians’ such as Ruth Millikan and Jay Rosenberg, on the other hand, have embraced and developed aspects of Sellars’ account, in particular the central underlying idea (...)
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  13.  31
    ‘Comments on Robert Brandom’s From Empiricism to Expressivism: Brandom Reads Sellars’.James O'Shea - 2017 - In David Pereplyotchik & Deborah Barnbaum (eds.), Sellars and Contemporary Philosophy. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 232-243.
    These comments, which include informal offhand asides made during delivery, derive from an ‘Author Meets Critics’ session on Robert Brandom’s book, From Empiricism to Expressivism: Brandom Reads Sellars’ (2015), held at Kent State University and published subsequently in Sellars and Contemporary Philosophy (2017).
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  14.  17
    After Kant, Sellars, and Meillassoux: Back to Empirical Realism?James O'Shea - 2018 - In Fabio Gironi (ed.), Analytic and Continental Kantianism: The Legacy of Kant in Sellars and Meillassoux. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 21-40.
    ABSTRACT: I examine how Meillassoux’s conception of correlationism in After Finitude, as I understand it, relates firstly to Kant’s transcendental idealist philosophy, and secondly to the analytic Kantianism of Wilfrid Sellars. I argue that central to the views of both Kant and Sellars is what might be called, with an ambivalent nod to Meillassoux, an objective correlationism. What emerges in the end as the recommended upshot of these analyses is a naturalistic Kantianism that takes the form of an empirical realism (...)
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  15.  27
    Thought, Freedom, and Embodiment in Kant and Sellars.James O'Shea - 2017 - In Sellars and Contemporary Philosophy, edited by David Pereplyotchik and Deborah Barnbaum, Studies in American Philosophy Series (London: Routledge), pp. 15–35. ISBN 9781138670624. London and New York: pp. 15–35.
    ABSTRACT: Sellars once remarked on the “astonishing extent to which in ethics as well as in epistemology and metaphysics the fundamental themes of Kant’s philosophy contain the truth of the variations we now hear on every side” (SM x). Also astonishing was Sellars’ 1970 Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association (APA), which borrowed its title from the phrase in Kant’s Paralogisms, “...this I or he or it (the thing) which thinks...” (B404). In its compact twenty-five pages Sellars managed to (...)
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  16.  23
    Concepts of Objects as Prescribing Laws: A Kantian and Pragmatist Line of Thought.James O'Shea - 2016 - In Robert Stern and Gabriele Gava, eds., Pragmatism, Kant, and Transcendental Philosophy (London: Routledge): pp. 196–216. London, UK: pp. 196-216.
    Abstract: This paper traces a Kantian and pragmatist line of thinking that connects the ideas of conceptual content, object cognition, and modal constraints in the form of counterfactual sustaining causal laws. It is an idea that extends from Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason through C. I. Lewis’s Mind and the World-Order to the Kantian naturalism of Wilfrid Sellars and the analytic pragmatism of Robert Brandom. Kant put forward what I characterize as a modal conception of objectivity, which he developed as (...)
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  17.  65
    American Philosophy in the Twentieth Century.James R. O'Shea - 2008 - In Dermot Moran (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 204.
    This selective overview of the history of American Philosophy in the Twentieth Century begins with certain enduring themes that were developed by the two main founders of classical American pragmatism, Charles Sanders Peirce (1839--1914) and William James. Against the background of the pervasive influence of Kantian and Hegelian idealism in America in the decades surrounding the turn of the century, pragmatism and related philosophical outlooks emphasizing naturalism and realism were dominant during the first three decades of the century. Beginning in (...)
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  18.  51
    Hume's Reflective Return to the Vulgar.James R. O'Shea - 1996 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 4 (2):285 – 315.
    Each of the standard outlooks in the philosophy of perception --phenomenalism, direct realism, indirect realism, scepticism -- has thus been viewed as Hume's own considered position in the eyes of informed commentators. I argue that Hume does not ascribe univocally to any one of the traditional stances in the philosophy of perception, nor does he leave us only a schizophrenic or 'mood' scepticism. Hume attempted to resolve the traditional philosophical problem (or perhaps more accurately, to set it aside on principled (...)
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