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Articulating Reasons
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Semantic Inferentialism and Logical Expressivism 2. Action, Norms, and Practical Reasoning 3. Insights and Blindspots of Reliabilism 4. What Are Singular Terms, and Why Are There Any? 5. A Social Route from Reasoning to Representing 6. Objectivity and the Normative Fine Structure of Rationality Notes Index

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Displaying a sovereign command of the intricate discussion in the analytic philosophy of language, Brandom manages successfully to carry out a program within the philosophy of language that has already been sketched by others, without losing sight of the vision inspiring the enterprise in the important details of his investigation ... Using the tools of a complex theory of language, Brandom succeeds in describing convincingly the practices in which the reason and autonomy of subjects capable of speech and action are expressed. -- Jurgen Habermas

About the Author

Robert B. Brandom is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.

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This is a meta-linguistic study of meaning, for Brandom (philosophy, Univ. of Pittsburgh) wants to know the meaning of "meaning." We normally take each other to mean things by what we say, and Brandom wants to determine in what this "taking to mean" consists. This leads him to an analysis of conceptualization and then to an inquiry into what separates concept users from non-concept users. He concludes that in making claims and in giving and asking for reasons, concept users show mastery over the inferences that are logically entailed in the concepts. Non-concept usersDparrots in one illustrationDcannot do this. Meaning, then, appears to consist in the application and understanding of concepts and is limited to beings with a certain cognitive apparatus. This synopsis is a bit disingenuous; Brandom deals throughout with most of the central issues in contemporary analytic philosophy, and the level of discourse is highly technical. It is likely that only readers well versed in the subject will find this accessible.DLeon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Displaying a sovereign command of the intricate discussion in the analytic philosophy of language, Brandom manages successfully to carry out a program within the philosophy of language that has already been sketched by others, without losing sight of the vision inspiring the enterprise in the important details of his investigation... Using the tools of a complex theory of language, Brandom succeeds in describing convincingly the practices in which the reason and autonomy of subjects capable of speech and action are expressed." - Jurgen Habermas

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