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Subseries 2. Educational Material, 1922-1953

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries documents Sellars' education, principally in philosophy, from his high school years in France and Germany through his graduate education at Oxford and Harvard. The bulk of the material dates from the later 1930s and emphasizes his post secondary education. The files are separated into the following sections: Early Education, Class Papers, Lecture Notes, and Miscellaneous Materials.

The majority of documents found within this subseries have been digitized. Each digital image is represented as a PDF. The entire folder contents are scanned and represented online.

Section: Early education

Scope and Content Notes:

The files pertaining to Sellars' early education date from 1922-1930 and focus predominately on his time at the Lycee Louis Le Grand in France. These files contain grade sheets, a graded paper and administrative files. One noteworthy document is the "philosophie" notebook, since it may be the earliest existing example of Sellars' philosophical writing. This section also contains administrative materials from a German institution attended briefly by Sellars.


Box 6
Folder 1 Lycee Louis Le Grand general files, 1922-1930
Folder 2 Lycee Louis Le Grand notebook on "Philosophie," undated
Folder 3 University of Munich material, 1930

Section: Papers written for courses

Scope and Content Notes:

This section consists of essays written by Sellars during his undergraduate and graduate education. The essays mostly date from Sellars’ time at Oxford and Harvard and are arranged alphabetically by title. The essays are usually handwritten, but in about ten cases there are typed versions available. The topics covered by the essays include the works of Hume and Bradley, ancient Greek philosophy, ethics, psychology, political institutions, and English Law. Of particular interest are the essays on Kant, which cover several related topics and are supplemented by two notebooks. These notebooks contain Sellars’ handwritten notes on writings by and about Kant, which generally consist of direct quotes from the original sources.

Folder 4 "Antimony of Pure Reason," undated
Folder 5 Bradley, undated
Folder 6 Comments on philosophy, undated
Folder 7 Cook Wilson, undated
Folder 8 Economics of interest, undated
Folder 9 English law, undated
Folder 10 "Epiphenomenalism and Emergent Materialism," undated
Folder 11 "An Examination of the Cogito," c. 1935
Folder 12 "The First Analogy," undated
Folder 13 "The First Antinomy," undated
Folder 14 Greek skepticism, 1953
Folder 15 Heraclites and Parmenides, 1953
Folder 16 Hume and relations, undated
Folder 17 Induction, undated
Folder 18 "Introduction to the Philosophy of Schelling," undated
Folder 19 "Is the A Priori Analytic?," undated
Folder 20 Kant and the antimonies, 1935-1937
Folder 21 "Kant," undated
Folder 22 "Kant on Space," undated
Folder 23 "Kant Papers for H. H. Price Collection," undated
Folder 24-25 Kant papers on various topics, undated

Box 7
Folder 1 "Kant's Refutation of Idealism," undated
Folder 2 Notes on Kant and substance, undated
Folder 3 Notes on Kant, time, direct awareness, undated
Folder 4 "Let us first ask the question what is it that is true?," undated
Folder 5 Nature undated
Folder 6 "Negation," undated
Folder 7 "A Note on Emergence and Predictability," undated
Folder 8 "Objectivity and Subjectivity in Value Theory," undated
Folder 9 "Outlines of a Naturalistic Cosmology," undated
Folder 10 "Perception," 1931-1932
Folder 11 "Political Institutions," 1935
Folder 12 Prichard and Cook Wilson, undated
Folder 13 "The Problem of Rent," undated
Folder 14 Psychology and ethics, undated
Folder 15 Santayana and Kant, undated
Folder 16 "The Second Analogy is....," undated
Folder 17 "Some Comments on Carnap's 'Scheinproblem," undated
Folder 18 "Some Comments on the Theory of Political Rights," undated
Folder 19 "Some Remarks on the Receptacle," undated
Folder 20 "The Sophists," 1933
Folder 21 "Universals," undated
Folder 22 "Utility, Value & Welfare," undated

Section: Course lecture notes

Scope and Content Notes:

The lecture notes are handwritten notes taken by Sellars during his post-secondary education. They are filed alphabetically by lecturer and consist of both loose sheets and bound notebooks. The lecture notes are usually labeled with the lecturer’s name and the topic of the course but in a few instances the lecturer is unknown. The notebooks may have one series of notes starting from the front of the notebook, and a second series starting from the back of the notebook, with the rear-forward handwriting inverted. Both types of notes may include reading lists for the course. In a few cases, there are typed, word-for-word transcriptions of the handwritten notes. Topics include the works of Hume, Lewis, Plato, Spinoza, and Wittgenstein, as well as logic, epistemology, and ethics. In addition to the lecture notes taken by Sellars, this section also contains two typed versions of notes created by Wittgenstein’s students in the 1930s.

Folder 23 "Austin - Leibnitz," undated
Folder 24 "(Buffalo Notebook?)," 1933
Folder 25 Carritt - Dialectical Materialism, undated
Folder 26 "Demos-Plato/Huntington Math," undated
Folder 27 "Deductive Science of Ethics," undated
Folder 28 "Huntington - Postulate Theory," undated
Folder 29 'Kneale Political Philosophy," undated

Box 8
Folder 1 Lewis - Hume and Parmenides, undated
Folder 2 Lewis - Epistemology, undated
Folder 3 Lewis - Logic, undated
Folder 4 "Lewis - Theory Knowledge," undated
Folder 5 "Mure-Hegel," undated
Folder 6 "H.H. Price - Problems in the Theory of Knowledge," Undated
Folder 7 "Pritchard Lectures on Berkeley's Theory of Knowledge" Trinity Term '35, 1935
Folder 8 "Pritchard - Ethics," undated
Folder 9 "Pritchard - The Nature of Moral Obligation," undated
Folder 10 "Quine - Logical Positivism," Undated

Box 9
Folder 1 Ross - Unlabeled, undated
Folder 2 Ross - Kant's moral theory and ethics, undated
Folder 3 Ross - Mr. Ryle - Induction and probability, 1936
Folder 4 Ross - Smith - Kant, undated
Folder 5 Ross - Stevenson - Hume, 1938
Folder 6 Unknown - Economics tutorial, undated
Folder 7 Unknown - International relations, undated
Folder 8 Unknown - Isaiah Berlin reading notes, undated
Folder 9 Unknown - Logical positivism, undated
Folder 10 Unknown - Political history, undated
Folder 11 Unknown - Spinoza, Wittgenstein, Plato, Logic, undated
Folder 12-13 Unknown - Wittgenstein Dictations, 1934-1937 1934-1937

Section: Miscellaneous

Scope and Content Notes:

This section contains correspondence written to Sellars in regards to his education at Oxford. Primarily, this correspondence is comprised of brief notes of congratulations sent to Sellars for passing exams. There are also several letters of recommendation Sellars received from members of the Oriel College faculty. Researchers may also be interested in Sellars’s correspondence with his first wife Gertrude Mary Sharp, which is located in the personal correspondence section and discusses his education and their developing relationship. In addition to correspondence, this section also contains examination booklets and exams. The majority of these files contain exam questions. However, two of the Oxford files contain Sellars’s handwritten answers to examinations. Sellars’s GRE scores are also located here. The remaining files document some of Sellars non-professional activities and interests while in graduate school. More specifically, it includes receipts from the doctor and bookstore, artifacts from the Jowett Society, the Oriel College Boat Club, and administrative documents dating from Sellars’s time at Oxford and Harvard.


Box 10
Folder 1 Address book and checkbook, 1934-1937
Folder 2 Bookstore receipts, doctor's bills 1936-1938
Folder 03-05 Correspondence, 1935-1956
Folder 6 Exams - GRE scores, undated
Folder 7 Exams - Oxford PPE bibliography, 1935
Folder 8 Exams - Oxford PPE questions, 1931-1936
Folder 9 Exams - Oxford answers on general PPE, undated
Folder 10 Exams - Oxford answers on logic, undated
Folder 11 Exams - Harvard Ph.D. questions, 1925-1938
Folder 12 Exams - University of Buffalo questions, 1934-1939
Folder 13 Jowett Society, 1936-1937
Folder 14-15 Miscellaneous memorabilia, 1933-1940
Folder 16 Oxford administrative and financial documents, 1934-1940