An Hegelian Solution to a Tangle of Problems Facing Brandom'S Analytic Pragmatism

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (4):657-680 (2015)
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Abstract

In his program of analytic pragmatism, Robert Brandom has presented a thoroughgoing reinterpretation of the place of analytic philosophy in the history of philosophy by linking his own non-representational ‘inferentialist’ approach to semantics to the rationalist – idealist tradition, and in particular, to Hegel. Brandom, however, has not been without his critics in regard to both his approach to semantics and his interpretation of Hegel. Here I single out four interlinked problematic areas facing Brandom's inferentialist semantics – his approach of perceptual content, to de re attitudes, to perceptual experience and to modality, and then go on to contrast the different approach to these issues that is found in Hegel. While Hegel can helpfully be understood as anticipating an inferentialist semantics as Brandom claims, his is a weak inferentialism in contrast to Brandom's strong version. With his weakly inferentialist approach Hegel can, I suggest, be seen as providing a solution to the tangle of problems..

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Paul Redding
University of Sydney

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