Sellars, Roy Wood

Sellars, Roy Wood


Born July 9, 1880, in Egmondville, Ontario, Canada; died Sept. 5, 1973, in Ann Arbor, Mich. American philosopher; professor at the University of Michigan (1905–50). One of the founders of critical realism.

Sellare’ early epistemological viewpoint, which affirmed the symbolic character of knowledge, contained elements of agnosticism. Subsequently, Sellars shifted to materialist positions, calling his philosophy “evolutionary naturalism.” In a number of works he examined epistemological questions of the theory of reflection: the cognitive role of perception, the place of individual practice and interest in knowledge, and the interaction of subject and object. Sellars engaged in vigorous polemics with idealist philosophical currents and criticized the theory of psychophysical dualism and teleological interpretations of evolution. In ethics he stressed the specific historical and socially generated character of moral judgments and values. Sellars rejected theology and church dogmas but adhered to a position of “religious humanism.”


Critical Realism. New York, 1916.
The Next Step in Religion. New York, 1918.
The Principles and Problems of Philosophy. New York, 1926.
The Philosophy of Physical Realism. New York, 1932.
Reflections on American Philosophy From Within. Notre Dame-London, 1969.
In Russian translation:
“Tri stupeni materializma.” In Voprosy filosofii, 1962, no. 8.


Kremianskii, V. I. Strukturnye urovni zhivoi materii. Moscow, 1969. Pages 109–16.
Karimskii, A. M. Filosofiia amerikanskogo naturalizma. Moscow, 1972. Pages 70–76.
Bogomolov, A. S. Burzhuaznaia filosofiia SShA XX veka. Moscow, 1973. Pages 205–17.
Bykhovskii, B. E. “Razmyshleniia ob amerikanskoi filosofii iznutri.” In Filosofskie nauki. 1972, no. 2.
Bykhovskii, B. E. “Pamiati R. V. Sellarsa.” Ibid., 1974, no. 4.
Melchert, N. P. Realism, Materialism, and the Mind: The Philosophy of R. W. Sellars. Springfield, 1968.


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