Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Atomism (philosophy, logic): A) Atomism is the assumption that the facts can be represented by elementary sentences. Thus the question of the independence of facts is raised. See also Atomic sentences, Humean supervenience, Causality. B) In relation to the world, the atomism of ancient philosophy assumes that there are smallest units, the atoms. These are sometimes thought of as having a particular shape.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Wilfrid Sellars on Atomism - Dictionary of Arguments

I 33
Standard Conditions: assuming them leads out of the logical atomism. (>circumstances/Sellars). - It is not enough that the conditions are appropriate, the subject must know that they are.
Circumstances: to determine them it is necessary to know something about the objects: how they are under different circumstances.
I 34
Logical atomism: VsSellars: it could reply that Sellars
1) overlooks the fact that the logical space of physical objects in space and time is based on the logical space of sense content.
2) the concepts of the sense contents have the kind of logical independence from one another which is characteristic of traditional empiricism.
3) concepts for theoretical entities such as molecules have the kind of interdependence which Sellars may have rightly attributed to the concepts of physical facts, but: the theoretical concepts have empirical content precisely because they are based on a more fundamental logical space.
Sellars would have to show that this space is also loaded with coherence, but he cannot do that until he has abolished the idea of ​​a more fundamental logical space than that of the physical objects in space and time.
Logical atomism: statements only occur truth-functionally in statements.
I 70
Atomism/SellarsVsAtomism/SellarsVsWittgenstein: analysis does not stand for definition of terms, but for the exploration of the logical structure of discourse - which does not follow a simple pattern.
(External: Definition truth-functional: Tugendhat: depends on other sentences, not on situations).
(External: Definition truth-functional: Read: directly dependent only on the occurring concepts.)
II 314
SellarsVsWittgenstein/Paradox: to say of a particular atomic fact that it was represented by a certain elementary statement, we have to use a statement in which the elementary statement occurs, but this is not truth-functional. We have to say something like:
(1) S (in L) represents aRb. This representation relationship cannot be expressed through a statement. Wittgenstein dito.
II 321
If only simple non-linguistic objects could be represented, if complex objects were facts, that would lead to the well-known antinomy that there would have to be atomic facts which would be prerequisites for the fact that language can depict the world, but for which no example can be given if the speaker demands one. (?!)
Both difficulties are avoided by the realization that complex objects are no facts (VsTractatus).

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Sellars I
Wilfrid Sellars
The Myth of the Given: Three Lectures on the Philosophy of Mind, University of London 1956 in: H. Feigl/M. Scriven (eds.) Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1956
German Edition:
Der Empirismus und die Philosophie des Geistes Paderborn 1999

Sellars II
Wilfred Sellars
Science, Perception, and Reality, London 1963
Wahrheitstheorien, Gunnar Skirbekk, Frankfurt/M. 1977

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-11-26
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