Brandom's Inferentialist Theory and the Meaning Entitlement Connection

In Hamdi Mlika (ed.), Lectures de Robert Brandom. Edilivre. pp. 51-90 (2018)

Alessia Marabini
University of Aberdeen
According to Brandom’s conceptual role semantics, to grasp a concept involves a commitment to drawing certain inferences. This is a consequence of the inferentialist thesis that the meaning of a term is given by its justification through assertibility conditions. Inferential commitments come out from a material notion of inference which underwrites human rational discourse and activity. In this paper I discuss a problem of Brandom’s semantics allegedly exposed in an argument by Paul Boghossian against Dummett’s and Brandom’s substantive conception of meaning. I contend that Boghossian’s analysis is dubious because it overlooks an important difference between Dummett’s and Brandom’s positions related respectively to a monotonic and a non-monotonic view of the norm underwriting meaning.
Keywords Brandom  Boghossian  Meaning  Inferentialism  Nonmonotonicity  Norm  Rule  Conceptual role semantics  Concept  Dummett
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References found in this work BETA

The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael DUMMETT - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
Making It Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.
The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam & James Conant - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (177):519-527.
Blind Reasoning.Paul Boghossian - 2003 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 77 (1):225–248.
Blind Reasoning.Paul Boghossian - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 77:225-293.

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