Making it Explicit
Reasoning, Representing and Discursive Commitment
By (author) Robert B. Brandom
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Making it Explicit by Robert B. Brandom
Book DescriptionWhat would something unlike us - a computer, for example - have to be able to do to qualify as a possible knower, like us? To answer this question at the very heart of our sense of ourselves, philosophers have long focused on intentionality and have looked to language as a key to this condition. "Making It Explicit" is an investigation into the nature of language - the social practices that distinguish us as rational, logical creatures - that revises the very terms of this inquiry. Where accounts of the relation between language and mind have traditionally rested on the concept of representation, this book sets out an alternate approach based on inference, and on a conception of certain kinds of implicit assessment that become explicit in language. "Making It Explicit" attempts to work out in detail a theory that renders linguistic "meaning" in terms of "use" - in short, to explain how semantic content can be conferred on expressions and attitudes that are suitably caught up in social practices. At the centre of this enterprise is a notion of discursive commitment. Being able to talk - and so in the fullest sense being able to think - is a matter of mastering the practices that govern such commitments, being able to keep track of one's own commitments and those of others. Assessing the pragmatic signficance of speech acts is a matter of explaining the explicit in terms of the implicit. As he traces the inferential structure of the social practices within which things can be made conceptually explicit, the author defines the distinctively expressive role of logical vocabulary. This expressive account of language, mind and logic is, finally, an account of who "we" are.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674543300
(235mm x 162mm x 38mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 30-Oct-1998
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Robert B. Brandom
From Empiricism to Expressivism, Hardback (January 2015)
Wilfrid Sellars ranks as one of the leading critics of empiricism--a philosophical approach to knowledge that seeks to ground it in human sense experience. Robert Brandom clarifies what Sellars had in mind when he talked about moving analytic philosophy from its Humean to its Kantian phase and why such a move might be of crucial importance today.
Reason in Philosophy, Paperback (September 2013)
Transcendentalism never came to an end in America. It just went underground for a stretch. An emphasis on our capacity to reason, rather than merely to represent, has been growing in philosophy over the last thirty years, and the author has been at the center of this development. This is a paradigmatic work of contemporary philosophy.
Perspectives on Pragmatism, Hardback (October 2011)
Pragmatism has been reinvented in every generation since its beginnings in the late nineteenth century. This book, by one of our most distinguished heirs of pragmatist philosophy, rereads cardinal figures in that tradition, distilling from their insights a way forward and closing with a clear description of the author's own analytic pragmatism.
Between Saying and Doing, Paperback (April 2010)» View all books by Robert B. Brandom
Between Saying and Doing aims to reconcile pragmatism with analytic philosophy. Robert Brandom investigates the relations between the meaning of linguistic expressions (logical, indexical, modal, normative, and intentional, among others) and their use. He offers new ways of thinking about empiricism, naturalism, and functionalism.
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Author Biography - Robert B. Brandom
Robert B. Brandom is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.
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