Making it Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment

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Harvard University Press, 1998 - 741 Seiten
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What would something unlike us--a chimpanzee, say, or a computer--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 is the first attempt 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 center 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 significance 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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Inhalt

Toward a Normative Pragmatics
3
From Intentional Interpretation to Original Intentionality
55
Toward an Inferential Semantics
67
Linguistic Practice and Discursive Commitment
141
Deontic Status and Deontic Attitudes
157
The Conferral of Empirical
199
to Practical Commitments
243
Expressive Not Explanatory
322
to Functional Derivation of Categories
404
The Structure of Token Repeatables
413
Donkeys and Quantificational Antecedents
490
Interpretation Communication and De Re Ascriptions
508
Conclusion
614
HI We Have Met the Norms and They Are Ours
639
Abbreviations
653
Index
717

What Are Singular Terms and Why Are There Any?
334
Substitution Sentential Embedding and Semantic Roles
346

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Über den Autor (1998)

Robert B. Brandom is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy. Numerous books have been written about him, including Jeremy Wanderer's Robert Brandom, Ronald Loeffler's Brandom, and Chauncey Maher's The Pittsburgh School of Philosophy: Sellars, McDowell, Brandom. He delivered the John Locke Lectures at the University of Oxford and the Woodbridge Lectures at Columbia University. Brandom is the author of many books, including Making It Explicit, Reason in Philosophy, and From Empiricism to Expressivism.

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