File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2000/habermas.0005, message 35

Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 22:21:01 -0700
Subject: HAB: re: new Brandom book

Thanks, Martin.

The following, from, appears to be from the book jacket, and
portrays the US$ 35 book as indeed a prolegomenon:

"Robert B. Brandom is one of the most original philosophers of our day,
whose book _Making It Explicit_ covered and extended a vast range of
topics in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language--the
very core of analytic philosophy. This new work provides an approachable
introduction to the complex system that _Making It Explicit_ mapped out.
A tour of the earlier book's large ideas and relevant details,
Articulating Reasons offers an easy entry into two of the main themes of
Brandom's work: the idea that the semantic content of a sentence is
determined by the norms governing inferences to and from it, and the
idea that the distinctive function of logical vocabulary is to let us
make our tacit inferential commitments explicit. Brandom's work, making
the move from representationalism to inferentialism, constitutes a
near-Copernican shift in the philosophy of language--and the most
important single development in the field in recent decades.
Articulating Reasons puts this accomplishment within reach of
nonphilosophers who want to understand the state of the foundations of

Martin Blanchard wrote:

> (Sorry about being off-topic. But Antti Kaupinen mentioned Robert
> Brandom in his last post, and I couldn't resist...)
> For those interested in Brandom, a few weeks ago came out his last
> one, "Articulating Reasons : An Introduction to Inferentialism"
> (Harvard U. Press). When he came to our University a few months ago,
> he lectured the 6th chapter and said that this book would be to
> "Making It Explicit" what Kant's "Prolegomena" was to his 1st
> Critique.
> Anyways, let's be modest, this is an excellent introduction to the
> (quite!) larger and hard to read MIE. I look forward to work with it,
> sometimes this summer.
> Although his strand about objectivity is hard to understand, he is
> perfectly clear about the kind of process that inference-making
> engages us in. As "inferential scorekeeping beings", we owe to each
> other reasons why we said such and such. And those reasons will then
> play a role in future inferences. So, just as he says,
> inference-making means dealing with norms "all the way down". But
> here I'm starting to speak in Brandomite without explaining nothing.
> Guess I'll have to read a lot next summer...
> Martin Blanchard
> Universite de Montreal
>      --- from list ---

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