Meaning and Interpretation: Can Brandomian Scorekeepers be Gadamerian Hermeneuts?

Philosophy Compass 3 (1):17-29 (2008)
In his book Tales of the Mighty Dead Brandom engages Gadamer’s hermeneutic conception of interpretation in order to show that his inferentialist approach to understanding conceptual content can explain and underwrite the main theses of Gadamer’s hermeneutics which he calls “the gadamerian hermeneutic platitudes”. In order to assess whether this claim is sound, I analyze the three types of philosophical interpretations that Brandom discusses: de re, de dicto and de traditione, and argue that they commit him to an “ecumenical historicism” that is directly at odds with the hermeneutic approach. Although the variety of de re interpretation that Brandom denominates de traditione comes indeed very close to the Gadamerian approach, I conclude that if Brandomian scorekeepers were to adopt it, they could become Gadamerian hermeneuts, but once they did, they would not be able to go back to their scorekeeping practices as described by Brandom
Keywords Brandom  Gadamer  Hermeneutics  Interpretation  Historicism  Scorekeeping
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2007.00112.x
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