The Ethics of Wilfrid Sellars

Book Cover of The Ethics of Wilfrid Sellars by Jeremy Koons.

Wilfrid Sellars’s ethical theory was rich and deeply innovative. On Sellars’s view, moral judgments express a special kind of shared intention. Thus, we should see Sellars as an early advocate of an expressivism of plans and intentions, and an early theorist of collective intentionality. He supplemented this theory with a sophisticated logic of intentions, a robust theory of the categorical validity of normative expressions, a subtle way of reconciling the cognitive and motivating aspects of moral judgment, and much more—all within a strict nominalism that preserves Sellars’s commitment to naturalism. The Ethics of Wilfrid Sellars offers the first systematic treatment of this sadly-neglected aspect of Sellars’s work, and demonstrates that his ethical theory—just like his more widely-discussed epistemology—has much to contribute to current debates.