Can a discursive pragmatism guarantee objectivity?: Habermas and Brandom on the correctness of norms

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (1):113-126 (2007)
rgen Habermas both agree that all theoretical and practical determinations are normative affairs. But what grants this normative order the power to be objective ? While Brandom assumes that ever new appeals to reliable perceptual judgments and inferentialist determinations eventuate objectivity, Habermas thinks that such an objectivistic presumption fails to sustain a thoroughgoing critique of norms. He insists that Brandom’s model of the determination of norms cannot transcend the limits of the given social community the actors share. Habermas thus delimits an additional intersubjective space, internal to the structure of speech, by which discursive actors can distance themselves from the limits of a de facto system of norms and construct norms that have a universal extension. While pointing out that in a more recent work Brandom in fact has made a stronger case for objectivity, I explore a model that is distinct from each of their approaches: Davidson’s. Davidson holds onto a causal story about rationality, while appealing to an objectivity that requires neither inferentialism nor a trans-subjective discursive space. Davidson is more sparing: he requires as the basis of the rational only the existence of another interpreter and an assumption about the basic veridicality of one’s beliefs about the world. This weak naturalist move, I conclude, furnishes an adequate answer to the objectivity problem while relying upon fewer problematic assumptions about what constitutes rationality. Key Words: Robert Brandom • causation • Donald Davidson • discourse • Jürgen Habermas • inferentialism • normativity • objectivity • pragmatism • triangulation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0191453707071401
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,702
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Communication and Rational Responsiveness to the World.Robert Briscoe - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):135-159.
Robert Brandom on Communication, Reference, and Objectivity.Bernd Prien - 2010 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (3):433-458.
From the Second to the Third Person and Back Again.Steven Hendley - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Research 30:169-188.
Pragmatism and Inferentialism.John MacFarlane - 2010 - In Bernhard Weiss & Jeremy Wanderer (eds.), Reading Brandom: On Making It Explici. Routledge. pp. 81--95.
Thoughts, Norms, and Discursive Practices: Commentary on Brandom.Allan F. Gibbard - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (3):699-717.
Brandom on the Normativity of Meaning.Lionel Shapiro - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):141-60.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

34 ( #149,483 of 2,158,457 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #193,769 of 2,158,457 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums