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Thinking/Perceiving: Sellars' everyday theory: modelled after the example of words and phrases of colloquial language, but no speaking with an inner tongue.
To each of us belongs a stream of episodes that are not direct experiences themselves and to which we have privileged, but by no means immutable or infallible access. (> Privileged access). They can occur without open language behavior.
The word ideas are not thinking itself. Nor is the open speech behavior thought itself. We do not need to have word ideas, neither must we have an idea at all if we know what we think. It is wrong to construct the privileged access according to the model of perception.
Thesis: mentalistic discourse (thoughts) ascribable to semantic speech. (Sellars pro modified Rylean explanation: thoughts are a short form for hypothetical and mixed categorical-hypothetical statements about verbal or non-verbal behavior).
Tradition: thought without word ideas possible
Sellars: Categories of intentionality are semantical.
Thinking: the terms belonging to thinking are theoretical terms.
Thoughts are theoretical, not empirical, they cannot be defined in terms of an observation language. Their "purity" is not a metaphysical, but so to say, a methodological purity.
The ability to have thoughts, is formed in the course of the acquisition of public language. Only after the public language is firmly established, the inner speech can ever occur.
Theoretical episodes (thoughts) are not direct experiences.
The terms belonging to thinking are theoretical terms, but their status is clarified by the opposition between theoretical and non-theoretical speech.
Only a small step to using the language to describe oneself: if someone says who is watching us "Dick thinks 'p'" then Dick can say, "I think p".
Der Empirismus und die Philosophie des Geistes Paderborn 1999