Life and death in the history of philosophy: Brandom’s tales of the mighty dead

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (1):35-53 (2007)
Abstract
This article discusses the role that history and historiography play in Brandom’s Tales of the Mighty Dead . I claim that Brandom’s attempt to integrate a historical dimension in his inferentialist project fails, and argue that the reason for that failure lies in the misconstruction and misreading of Hegel’s idea of rationality with regard, at least, to two fundamental points: to the Hegelian concept of ‘history’ and to his notion of the ‘social’. The further point that I make remains an open question and regards the ideological motives that lead American analytic pragmatists to repeatedly try to institute such a misconstrued contact with Hegel - a contact that is necessarily bound to fail unless the historical dimension of Hegel’s philosophy is not only recognized but somehow integrated into the very idea of philosophy that one systematically practises. Key Words: Robert Brandom • G.W.F.Hegel • history • history of philosophy • historiography.
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