Motivating inferentialism: Comments on <i>Making it Explicit</i> (Ch. 2)

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Brandom’s attempt to motivate inferentialism is found wanting on a number of grounds, including a scepticism about how much recommendation for inferentialism can be derived from the evident unsatisfactoriness of the representationalism Brandom contrasts it with, which seems to be a straw man. Brandom’s appeal to authorities (Sellars, Frege, Dummett) falls flat; in particular, his reading of Frege’s early work as inferentialist in Brandom’s sense is a misinterpretation. Given the programmatic character of Brandom’s recommendation for inferentialism, the quality of the motivation he offers for it matters more than he has acknowledged.


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