In a new retelling of the romantic rationalist adventure of ideas that is Hegel's classic The Phenomenology of Spirit, Robert Brandom argues that when our self-conscious recognitive attitudes take Hegel's radical form of magnanimity and trust, we can overcome a troubled modernity and enter a new age of spirit.
It is argued that at the center of Hegel’s phenomenology of consciousness is the notion that experience is shaped by identification and sacrifice. Experience is the process of self - constitution and self -transformation of a self -conscious being that risks its own being. The transition from desire to recognition is explicated as a transition from the tripartite structure of want and fulfillment of biological desire to a socially structured recognition that is achieved only in reciprocal recognition, or reflexive recognition. (...) At the center of the Hegelian notion of selfhood is thus the realization that selves are the locus of accountatibility. To be a self, it is concluded, is to be the subject of normative statuses that refer to commitments; it means to be able to take a normative stand on things, to commit oneself and undertake responsibilities. Key Words: commitments • desire • experience • G.W.F.Hegel • identity • recognition • risk • sacrifice • self -consciousness • self - constitution. (shrink)
Some Pragmatist Themes in Hegel’s Idealism:Negotiation and Administration in Hegel’sAccount of the Structure and Content ofConceptual NormsRobert B. BrandomThis paper could equally well have been titled ‘Some Idealist Themes in Hegel’sPragmatism’. Both idealism and pragmatism are capacious concepts, encompassingmany distinguishable theses. I will focus on one pragmatist thesis and one ideal-ist thesis (though we will come within sight of some others). The pragmatistthesis (what I will call ‘the semantic pragmatist thesis’) is that the use of conceptsdetermines their content, that is, (...) that concepts can have no content apart from thatconferred on them by their use. The idealist thesis is that the structure and unityof the concept is the same as the structure and unity of the self. The semantic prag-matist thesis is a commonplace of our Wittgensteinean philosophical world. Theidealist thesis is, to say the least, not. I don’t believe there is any serious contem-porary semantic thinker who is pursuing the thought that concepts might best beunderstood by modelling them on selves. Indeed, from the point of view ofcontemporary semantics it is hard to know even what one could mean by such athought: what relatively unproblematic features of selves are supposed to illumi-nate what relatively problematic features of concepts? Why should we think thatunderstanding something about, say, personal identity would help us under-stand issues concerning the identity and individuation of concepts? From acontemporary point of view, the idealist semantic thesis is bound to appearinitially as something between unpromising and crazy.My interpretive claim here will be that the idealist thesis is Hegel’s way of makingthe pragmatist thesis workable, in the context of several other commitments andinsights. My philosophical claim here will be that we actually have a lot to learn fromthis strategy about contemporary semantic issues that we by no means see our wayto the bottom of otherwise. In the space of this essay, I cannot properly justify thefirst claim textually, nor the second argumentatively. I will confine myself of neces-sity to sketching the outlines and motivations for the complex, sophisticated, andinteresting view on the topic I find Hegel putting forward. (shrink)
One of the most important developments in the theory of knowledge during the past two decades has been a shift in emphasis to concern with issues of the reliability of various processes of belief formation. One way of arriving at beliefs is more reliable than another in a specified set of circumstances just insofar as it is more likely, in those circumstances, to produce a true belief. Classical epistemology, taking its cue from Plato, understood knowledge as justified true belief. While (...) Gettier had raised questions about the joint sufficiency of those three conditions, it is only more recently that their individual necessity was seriously questioned. What I will call the "Founding Insight" of reliabilist epistemologies is the claim that true beliefs can, at least in some cases, amount to genuine knowledge even where the justification condition is not met (in the sense that the candidate knower is unable to produce suitable justifications), provided the beliefs resulted from the exercise of capacities that are reliable producers of true beliefs in the circumstances in which they were in fact exercised. (shrink)
During the last decade of his life, Rorty emphasized the anti-authoritarian credentials of his pragmatism. He came to see pragmatism as the fighting faith of a second phase of the Enlightenment. The first stage, as Rorty construed it, concerns our emancipation from nonhuman authority in practical matters: issues of what we ought to do and how things ought to be. The envisaged second stage addresses rather our emancipation from nonhuman authority in theoretical matters. Pragmatism moves beyond the traditional model of (...) reality as authoritative over our cognitive representations of it in language and thought to a new conception of how discursive practices help us cope with the vicissitudes of life. Hegel anticipates the challenge to the very idea of objective reality as providing norms for thought that Rorty thought required us to enact a second phase of the Enlightenment. Unlike Rorty, Hegel presents a detailed, constructive, anti-authoritarian, nonfetishistic, social pragmatist account of the representational dimension of conceptual content. At its heart is an account of the social dimension of discursive normativity in terms of reciprocal recognition, and an account of the historical dimension of discursive normativity in terms of a distinctive new conception of reason: the recollective rationality that turns a past into a tradition. His idealism thereby offers a concrete pragmatist alternative to Rorty’s global semantic and epistemological anti-representationalism. (shrink)
This is the best collection of essays on Rorty’s philosophy that has been published in the last decade. It will be of great interest not only to Rorty specialists but to anyone concerned with the difficulties contemporary analytic philosophy faces in its search for a viable self-understanding. The contributors are Barry Allen, Akeel Bilgrami, Jacques Bouveresse, Robert Brandom, James Conant, Donald Davidson, Daniel Dennett, Jürgen Habermas, John McDowell, Hilary Putnam, Bjørn Ramberg, and Michael Williams. Rorty himself has also written an (...) essay, plus individual and fairly extensive replies to each of his critics. (shrink)
In this reflection I address one of the critical questions this monograph is about: How to justify proposing yet another semantic theory in the light of Wittgenstein’s strong warnings against it. I see two clear motives for Wittgenstein’s semantic nihilism. The first one is the view that philosophical problems arise from postulating hypothetical entities such as “meanings”. To dissolve the philosophical problems rather than create new ones, Wittgenstein suggests substituting “meaning” with “use” and avoiding scientism in philosophy together with the (...) urge to penetrate in one's investigation to unobservable depths. I believe this first motive constitutes only a weak motive for Wittgenstein’s quietism, because there are substantial differences between empirical theories in natural sciences and semantic theories in philosophy that leave Wittgenstein’s assimilation of both open to criticism. But Wittgenstein is right, on the second motive, that given the dynamic character of linguistic practice, the classical project of semantic theory is a disease that can be removed or ameliorated only by heeding the advice to replace concern with meaning by concern with use. On my view, this does not preclude, however, a different kind of theoretical approach to meaning that avoids the pitfalls of the Procrustean enterprise Wittgenstein complained about. (shrink)
The text "Artificial Intelligence and Analytic Pragmatism" was translated from the book by Robert B. Brand: Between Saying and Doing: Towards an Analytical Pragmatism. Chapter 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 69 - 92.
In this paper, written more than ten years before Making it Explicit, I take a close look at the pivotal role which assertions play in human interactions. Tending a bridge from the Kantian theory of judgements to Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy, with the Fregean notion of conceptual content providing the pillars, and relying on the teachings drawn from the later Wittgenstein’s philosophy as keystones, I begin by questioning the dominant view of representationalism in analytical philosophy after Russell, Carnap and Tarski. It (...) is here that I begin weaving the conceptual network that will eventually blossom into the program of pragmatic rationalism with logical inferentialism and semantic expressivism as pivotal notions, manifest in our game of asking for and giving reasons. It is for these reasons that I agree that a bilingual version of this early piece seems a good starting point for the reflections on what unites and what divides la philosophical visions of Wittgenstein and my own. (shrink)
This paper analyzes important elements in the reception of Hegel’s philosophy in the present. In order to reach this goal we discuss how analytic philosophy receives Hegel’s philosophy. For that purpose, we reconstruct the reception of analytic philosophy in the face of Hegel, especially from those authors who were central in this movement of reception and distance of his philosophy, namely, Bertrand Russell, Frege and Wittgenstein. Another central point of this paper is to review the book of Paul Redding, Analytic (...) Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought, in comparison with the reception of Hegel, developed here by analytic philosophy. Finally, we show how a dialogue can be productive of these apparently opposing currents. (shrink)
Este artigo analisa importantes elementos na recepção da filosofia de Hegel na atualidade. Com a finalidade de alcançar tal meta discute-se como a filosofia analítica acolhe a filosofia de Hegel. Para tanto se reconstrói a recepção da filosofia analítica em face de Hegel, notadamente a partir daqueles autores que foram centrais neste movimento de recepção e distanciamento de sua filosofia, a saber, Bertrand Russell, Frege e Wittgenstein. Outro ponto central do presente texto é a análise do livro de Paul Redding, (...) Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought, em cotejo com a recepção de Hegel, desenvolvida aqui pela filosofia analítica. Ao final, mostra-se como é possível um diálogo produtivo destas correntes aparentemente contrapostas. (shrink)
The paper discusses the relationship between one pragmatist thesis and one idealist thesis in Hegel's thought. The pragmatist thesis is that the use of concepts determines their content, that is, that concepts can have no content apart from that conferred on them by their use. The idealist thesis is that the structure and unity of the concept is the same as the structure and unity of the self. The main claim of the paper is that the idealist thesis is Hegel's (...) way of making the pragmatist thesis workable, in the context of his use of the model of reciprocal recognition to articulate a conception of autonomy that is recognizably a descendent of Rousseau's and Kant's. Reciprocal moments of independence and dependence (authority and responsibility), related as in the underlying model of the synthesis of social substance and self-conscious selves by mutual recognition, interact along three dimensions: social, inferential, and historical. (shrink)
Der Gegenstand des Interviews mit Robert Brandom ist die Entwicklung seiner Theorie begrifflichen Gehalts ausgehend von „Expressive Vernunft“ bis zu den kürzlich gehaltenen Locke-Lectures und dem sich in Arbeit befindenden Buch über Hegel. Im Zentrum stehen folgende Fragen: Kann eine Bedeutungstheorie, wie sie Brandom vorschlägt, ohne den Begriff der Wahrheit auskommen und sich auf modale und normative Begriffe beschränken? Wie erfolgreich ist Brandoms Versuch, mithilfe des Begriffs der pragmatischen Meta-Sprache die in „Expressive Vernunft“ bestehende Spannung zwischen der Artikulation logischer Begriffe (...) auf der einen Seite und der nicht-zirkulären Erklärung begrifflicher Normativität auf der anderen Seite aufzulösen? Welche Konsequenzen hat es für unseren Begriff der Bedeutung, wenn wir mit Brandom begriffliche Bestimmtheit als historischen Prozess fortwährender Bestimmung auffassen? (shrink)