Brandom on Two Problems of Conceptual Role Semantics

In Barbara Merker (ed.), Vertehen nach Heidegger und Brandom (2009)
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The paper examines how Brandom can respond to two objections raised against another sort of inferentialism, conceptual role semantics. After a brief explanation of the difference between the motivations and the nature of the two accounts (I), I argue that externalism can be accommodated within Brandomian inferentialism (II). Then I offer a reconstruction of how Brandom tries to explain mutual understanding (III-IV). Finally I point out a problem in Brandom’s account, which is this. Brandom’s inferential roles are social and normative, but he also seeks to explain cases of understanding which involve novelty and individual ingenuity which cannot be reduced to social norms (V).
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