Once the tautology ‘the world is described by descriptive concepts’ is freed from the idea that the business of all non-logical1 concepts is to describe, the way is clear to an ungrudging recognition that many expressions which empiricists have relegated to second-class citizenship in discourse are not inferior, they’re just different.

Counterfactuals, Dispositions, and the Causal Modalities §79

  • Descriptive concepts are not the only kinds of concepts. There is a temptation of empiricists in assimilating all expressions to descriptive expressions (such that anything not intelligible as descriptive is defective).
  • The negation of this is called descriptivism.


  1. Sellars assumes everyone has already accepted the Tractarian lesson that logical expressions do not describe.