Between Saying and Doing: Towards an Analytic Pragmatism by Robert B. Brandom

By Robert B. Brandom

Among announcing and Doing goals to reconcile pragmatism (in either its classical American and its Wittgensteinian varieties) with analytic philosophy. It investigates the kinfolk among the that means of linguistic expressions and their use. Giving due weight either to what one has to do in an effort to count number as asserting different things and to what one must say to be able to specify these doings, makes it attainable to shed new mild at the family members among semantics (the concept of the meanings `f utterances and the contents of ideas) and pragmatics (the conception of the sensible family members between significant or contentful items). one of the vocabularies whose interrelated use and that means are thought of are: logical, indexical, modal, normative, and intentional vocabulary. because the argument proceeds, new methods of pondering the vintage analytic center courses of empiricism, naturalism, and functionalism are provided, in addition to novel insights concerning the principles of synthetic intelligence, the character of common sense, and intentional relatives among matters and gadgets.

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Extra resources for Between Saying and Doing: Towards an Analytic Pragmatism

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That is, even though one cannot say in the weaker vocabulary everything that can be said in the stronger one, one can still say in the weaker one everything that one needs to be able to do in order to deploy the stronger one. Here the relevant notion of the relative expressive power of vocabularies is also a purely syntactic one. Already in the 1950s, Chomsky offered mathematical characterizations of the different sets of strings of characters that could be generated by different classes of grammars (that is, in my terms, characterized by different kinds of syntactic metavocabularies) and computed by different kinds of automata.

I will begin my treatment of modality, in my fourth lecture, with a consideration of this question, and with a vindication of the role of modal vocabulary that parallels the one I will already have offered for ordinary logical vocabulary: modal vocabulary, too, can be elaborated from and is explicative of features integral to every autonomous discursive practice—features intimately related to, but distinct from, those made explicit by ordinary logical vocabulary. I will then enter into an extended treatment of the relation between alethic and deontic (modal and normative) vocabularies.

What we could call semantic pragmatism is the view that the only explanation there could be for how a given meaning gets associated with a vocabulary is to be found in the use of that vocabulary: the practices by which that meaning is conferred or the abilities whose exercise constitutes deploying a vocabulary with that meaning. To broaden the classical project of analysis in the light of the pragmatists’ insistence on the centrality of pragmatics, we can focus on this fundamental relation between use and meaning, between practices or practical abilities and vocabularies.

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