Brandom on the normativity of meaning

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):141-60 (2004)
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Brandom's "inferentialism"—his theory that contentfulness consists in being governed by inferential norms—proves dubiously compatible with his own deflationary approach to intentional objectivity. This is because a deflationist argument, adapted from the case of truth to that of correct inference, undermines the criterion of adequacy Brandom employs in motivating inferentialism. Once that constraint is abandoned, moreover, the very constitutive-explanatory availability of Brandom's inferential norms becomes suspect. Yet Brandom intertwines inferentialism with a separate explanatory project, one that in explaining the pragmatic significance of meaning-attributions does yield a convincing construal of the claim that the concept of meaning is normative.


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Lionel Shapiro
University of Connecticut

References found in this work

Deflationist Views of Meaning and Content.Hartry Field - 1999 - In Simon Blackburn & Keith Simmons (eds.), Truth. Oxford University Press.
Replies.Robert Brandom - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):189-204.
Pragmatics and pragmatisms.Robert Brandom - 2002 - In James Conant & Urszula M. Żegleń (eds.), Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism. Routledge. pp. 40--58.
Replies.Review author[S.]: Robert Brandom - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):189-204.

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