Letters to the Webmaster

March 5, 2019

Mr. Chrucky,

I am a graduate student at the University of Chicago, writing a dissertation on Sellars. I am also engaged in a long-term project, converting Sellars's works into plaintext for my personal use. Several months ago, I realized that with some simple scripting in the vim editor, I could transform my plaintext transcriptions into webpages -- like the ones on ditext. So I prepared html versions of "Time and the World Order", "Fatalism and Determinism", "Thought and Action", and "Counterfactuals, Dispositions, and the Causal Modalities".

I have attached the files (html, css, and svg) the contain the papers to this email. I thought that -- if at all possible -- it would be good if they were to be hosted on your website.

As it has been a while since I prepared these html transcriptions, my memory of the details as to their implementation is not as clear as it could be. The points worth mentioning are probably the following:

- I imitated the overall pagesetting style of ditext/Problems from W.S.; however I didn't use the same html conventions. Almost all the styling is taken care of via the simple .css file that's included in the package. Horizontally and vertically aligned blocks of text (Sellars's indented illustrations) were written inside

blocks; however, those often come with their own inline "style=" definitions. That is because I needed to do several local adjustments. I took a lot of care to make sure the text flows nicely at several zoom levels.

- The original pagination is indicated inside curly braces. These are colored grey, so that they're a bit less conspicuous in the flow of the text.

- All local references are hyperlinked -- footnotes, endnotes, book citations, references to other sections of the text.

- I reproduced the diagrams in TWO in svg format, by tracing over Sellars's original drawings inside the Minnesota Studies volume. Likewise I prepared svgs for the two special symbols Sellars uses in CDCM, for 'phys. necessary', and 'phys. possible' -- because those don't seem to exist in the UTF-8 character set. Logic symbols and Greek letters are otherwise all UTF-8 characters. In my (admittedly limited) testing, they all appear to display just fine.

I would like to thank you for your attention, and for the wonderful resource you have made available to us all.

Alptekin Sanli

(Note: The following are the names of the files that should be attached to this email: TWO.html, FD.html, TA.html, CDCM.html, TWO_Diagram_(1 through 12).svg, Sellars.css, c_square.svg, c_diagonal.svg. 19 files in total.)

April 29, 2004:

From: Erik Dix

Notre Dame Archives
607 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-9338
email: dix.4@nd.edu

I am working for the Notre Dame Archives and made a set of audio cds of lectures Wilfrid Sellars gave at Notre Dame for Aaron Schiller, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California San Diego. He thought that Sellars scholars might be interested in these lectures. Do you think this is true and could you let people know through your webpage that these recordings exist?

The individual titles are:
Perceivers & Perceptibles by Wilfrid Sellars 1973/1008
Question & Answer Period after Wilfrid Sellars Lecture 1973/1011
Scientific Reason & Perception by Sellars 1977/0923
Unidentified Philosophy Lectures by Wilfrid Sellars 1986/10
Epistomology Lecture Series - Wilfrid Sellars 1969
Language and Meaning by Wilfrid Sellars 1969
Conceptual Change by Wilfrid Sellars 1969
What Really Exists - by Wilfrid Sellars 1969
R.W. Sellars 90th Birthday Commemoration - with E. McMullan, R.W. Sellars, W. Sellars, ca. 1970

I think it is 19cds altogether. Individually we would charge 40 dollars per lecture, for a whole set 200.

They should contact me by email: dix.4@nd.edu or send a check made out to the Notre Dame Archives to my attention:

Erik Dix
Notre Dame Archives
607 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame, IN 46556

and tell me what lecture they want

We are missing one of our cassettes: Minds & Intelligibles by Wilfrid Sellars 1973/1010

Date: 98-02-25
From: hlkim@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu (Halla Kim)

Dear Dr. Chrucky,

Thank you for your message. I certainly welcome your effort and appreciate it.

First, my translation of Bruce Aune's Metaphysics was published by Seokwang Press in Seoul, Korea (1994).

Second, concerning Prof. Hanjo Rheey's propagation of Sellars's philosophy. He didn't write a lot but he's been very influential through his lectures and seminars. He is widely regarded as a paradigm of a hardworking, sincere, and serious philosopher in Korea. He was probably the first to introduce analytic philosophy to Korea, which had been dominated by German philosophy (in the field of western philosophy). He was also singularly responsible for propagating Sellarsian synoptic philosophy in Korea. He taught at Sogang University in Seoul for more than 30 yrs and currently is a professor emeritus of philosophy. My translation of Bruce's work was part of his effort to make Sellars more accessible to the public. (Sellars' writings are terribly difficult and resist easy translation.)

Even though Rheey was not able to earn a Ph.D. at the U. of Minnesota, I trust he deserves at least a mention in connection with American analytic philosophy in general and Sellars' philosophy in particular in Korea. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Halla Kim

Date: 97-09-16
From: asmith5@kent.edu (Arnold Smith)

Dear Sir:

I just happened across your excellent page, and lingered for quite a while. I am a graduate student in philosophy at Kent State University and am currently working on a project comparing Sellars with CS Peirce. I do not know how much knowledge you have on Peirce, but as a matter of curiosity, I would like to ask you, or any of the readers, if they believe Sellars's notion of teleology is compatible with Peirce's. If anyone has any feedback on this question, I would appreciate hearing about it.

Arnold Smith

Date: 97-09-17

Dear Arnold,

Joseph Pitt discusses this very topic in the first chapter, "Pictures and Teleology" (esp. pp. 18-19) of his book Pictures, Images and Conceptual Change (Reidel, 1981).

April 24, 1997

Dear Andrew,

I just looked at your Sellars page with admiration. If the biography section of the page is ever going to be expanded you may perhaps find it suitable to include a note about Sellars' "Napoleon of secretaries," Mary Connor. Mary had been Wilfrid's secretary, but that's in many ways an inappropriately impoverished description: she supported him with unique skills and resourcefulness, she provided him and his students with a professional environment characterized by calm and affection, -- briefly, she was, throughout the many years she worked for him and particularly during his last and most difficult years of life, probably the person who cared most actively and maturely about him. Here's what Adolf Grünbaum wrote to characterize Mary's extraordinary personality, in an eulogy during a memorial tree planting ceremony on Nov. 7, 1996.

"Mary Connor: In Memoriam"

Perhaps a paragraph or two could be included somewhere. Or perhaps you may find this a bit too much of 'human interest' to make it onto a research page. But I thought I owe it to Mary to ask for her to be mentioned in connection with Wilfrid's biographical data -- she certainly was a large part of the last part of his life. Many of us late Sellarsians are, in some way or other, deeply indebted to Mary whom we experienced less a Napoleon than a reliable source of warmth and practical wisdom -- an impersonation of some of the deepest elements in the Manifest Image.

Best regards,
Johanna Seibt

Johanna Seibt
University of Texas at Austin
316 Waggener Hall
Austin TX 78712

March 19, 1997:

Dear Sir,

Currently, I am a senior at Colgate Universtiy concentrating in philosophy and I am having my first exposure to the thought of Wilfrid Sellars. Understanding his work, has been a difficult but rewarding task. The "Problems from Wilfrid Sellars" website has been extremely helpful in clarifying and stimulating my thoughts on Sellars. Thank you for the site and I look forward to be enlightened by Sellarsian themes.

Peter Cherukuri
tel 315-824-8515

April, 19, 1996:

At the Notre Dame Archives, Department of Philosophy -- audio-visual material (ADPL), I [Andrew Chrucky] found the following list:

Epistemology Lecture Series -- Wilfrid Sellars -- 1969
Language and Meaning by Wilrid Sellars -- 1969
Conceptual Change by Wilfrid Sellars -- 1969
What Really Exists - by Wilfrid Sellars -- 1969
R.W. Sellars 90th Birthday Commemoration -- W. Sellars n.d.
Perceivers & Perceptibles by Wilfrid Sellars -- 1973
Minds & Intelligibles by Wilfrid Sellars -- 1973
Question & Answer Period after Wilfrid Sellars Lecture -- 1973
Scientific Reason & Perception by Sellars -- 1977
Unidentified Philosophy Lectures by Wilfrid Sellars -- 1986

Sept. 26, 1996:

I have a discussion of Sellars in the last chapter of THE INTENTIONAL STANCE (MIT, 1987), "Midterm Examination: Compare and Contrast." By the way, I learned from friends at Pitt that Wilfrid read that chapter shortly before his death and was particularly pleased by my account of his role in establishing functionalism.

Dan Dennett


Aug. 22, 1996:

Congratulations for a great Sellars-bibliography. To make it more complete here is a couple of publications by Raimo Tuomela that might be included in it.

1985 Science, Action, and Reality. Dordrecht Reidel.
1988 "The Myth of the Given and Realism" Erkenntnis 29: 181-200.
1995 The Importance of Us. A Philosophical Study of Basic Social Notions. Stanford University Press. Stanford.

There might be more that I don't know of, I can ask him if you wish. (Or you can write to him personally, his address is raimo.tuomela@helsinki.fi).
Certainly there is something in Finnish, but I don't know if you are interested in it?

Anyway, if you are starting to collect bibiliography of Sellars' works that have been translated to other languages you might add this to your collection:

Wilfrid Sellars: "Filosofia ja tieteellinen ihmiskuva" Pp. 24-80, in Yhteiskuntatieteiden filosofiset perusteet osa I (The name of the book in english: Philosophical foundations of the social sciences vol. I) edited by Raimo Tuomela and Ilkka Patoluoto. Gaudeamus. Helsinki. 1975. (The text is a finnish translation of Pp. 1-40 of Science Perception and Reality).


Petri Ylikoski
Department of Philosophy
University of Helsinki

e-mail: pylikosk@cc.helsinki.fi


Thank you for this information. Lately I have relied on the electronic form of the Philosophers' Index for bibliographical entries -- but apparently some items were missed. I will add these to the Writings on Wilfrid Sellars.

About translations of Sellars' writings into other languages, I will add these to the Sellars bibliography as soon as I learn of them.

Andrew Chrucky

Jan. 20, 1996: From Robert Czerny

Subj: Sellars Theses

Date: 96-01-20 00:03:45 EST
From: nstn3338@fox.nstn.ca (Robert Czerny)
To: chrucky@aol.com

Dear Andrew Chrucky,

I am a new Internet user, and feeling my way about, I followed a path of old and fundamental interests... and found your Wilfrid Sellars site. Well!!! I certainly had my fun (and challenge) with him about 25 years ago. I was studying philosophy and educational theory at the University of Toronto (both in its Phil Dept and at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education). I think I was introduced to the Chisholm-Sellars Correspondance via a philosophy of mind course that I was auditing. I ended up doing my masters thesis on Sellars. My concern was to figure out whether behaviourists could account for the learning of language; my inclination was 'No', and I figured that exploring this question in Sellars was a way to give the issue a thorough examination.

I've been away from this stuff for so long, that I would guess that the lingering effects in me have to do with the ability to read and analyze more than any particular philosophical stance. But at the time, it was an exhilarating challenge and experience.

The thesis title is "Meaning, Mind and Language-Learning: a Critical Study of Wilfrid Sellars' Philosophy of Mind", 1971. If this is of interest to you or your site, I imagine it is available from U of Toronto libraries.

Two anecdotes about it. I spent a solid month on "Being and Being Known", constantly distilling. The more I distilled, the better I felt I understood it. Finally, I had it down to one sentence -- I was so damn proud!

Half a year after the thesis was accepted, I was co-teaching a first-level philosophy course that was dominated by analytical readings. As I worked through the material, it suddenly dawned on me that the real point of all the Sellars stuff I had worked through was not language, intentionality and meaning ---- but the mind-body problem! OH NO!! Well, I kept the MA anyway.

Since those days my formal philosophy has been limited. I translated Paul Ricoeur's book on metaphor into English (The Rule of Metaphor -- what a wonderful education that was) while starting to work in the Canadian federal government. Here and there I took over a friend's philosophy class or helped someone with their thesis, and I reviewed philosophy books for a Canadian magazine for a while. Otherwise, it's been more a matter of applied philosophy.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. Thanks for putting up the site, I'll visit from time to time!

Robert E. Czerny

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