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The relationship between common-sense representations of man and the world and scientific representations of them were widely debated in XXth century culture. This, of course, largely depends on the increasing and systematic development of scientific-experimental knowledge which now ranges over a huge amount of phenomena.
What makes this issue especially awkward is the fact that these two accounts do not seem to harmonize or be easily integrable in a unitary conception. Rather they convey two very different, and seemingly opposite, worlds: Eddington's more than famous "two tables" have become the icon of this diversity. If this is true and relevant when we deal with objects, it is even more true and relevant when subjects are concerned, when the scientificexperimental methods which were created for the study of nature from an "objective" point of view are then applied to the study of the conscious minds of persons, for instance.
This is not simply a theoretical issue; the way we describe and explain the world and man have a deep influence on the kind of person we eventually become. The understanding of the world and ourselves in fact plays an essential role in the shaping of our identity, and, as Arnold Gehlen once wrote (in a passage that in a certain measure anticipates Sellars): «there is a living being, one of whose most significant characteristics is the need for selfexplanation, for which an "image", an interpretative formula, is necessary» (Gehlen, 1940/1988, p. 4).