Robert Brandom is one of the most renowned contemporary American philosophers, discussed widely in analytic as well as continental philosophical communities on both sides of the Atlantic. His innovative approach to language and rationality combines the philosophies of language and mind, epistemology, metaphysics, and logic with intriguing interpretations of historical figures such as Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein. Yet, due to its boldly unorthodox and highly technical nature, Brandom's work can also be daunting for the beginner. In this accessible book, Ronald Loeffler provides a critical and clear-headed guide through the maze of Brandom's philosophy. He conveys the pioneering nature of Brandom's approach to language and communication, with its unabashed appropriation of the German Idealistic tradition, and offers focused, sure-footed introductions to all major aspects of Brandom’s thought, including his normative pragmatics and inferential role semantics and his theories of empirical knowledge, logic, linguistic representation, and objectivity. This book will be essential reading for students of philosophy, as well as those in related fields with interests in language, communication, and the nature of norm-governed social interaction.
Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Introduction Chapter 1: Meaning and Communication Chapter 2: Mighty Dead: Kant and Hegel Chapter 3: Scorekeeping Chapter 4: Sentence Meaning, Term Meaning, Anaphora Chapter 5: Empirical Content and Empirical Knowledge Chapter 6: Logical Discourse Chapter 7: Representation and Communication Chapter 8: Phenomenalism about Norms and Objectivity Notes References Index
"Ronald Loeffler's outstanding introduction to Robert Brandom's thought covers all the bases: from situating the newcomer in Brandom's grounding appropriations of Kant and Hegel, through crystal clear explanations of the more technical but essential inferentialist semantics, to more critical reflections on how it all hangs together as a groundbreaking outlook on our rational nature. Highly recommended at all levels." James R. O'Shea, University College Dublin"Loeffler's new introduction to Brandom's work provides a very valuable guide to many of Brandom's key ideas and relations among those ideas. It will be especially helpful to the beginning student, but useful also for more advanced readers looking for a synoptic view of Brandom's corpus."Danielle Macbeth, Haverford College
Ronald Loeffler is Associate Professor in Philosophy at Grand Valley State University.
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