Brandom, Wittgenstein, and Human Encounters

Leila Haaparanta
University of Helsinki, Finland | leila.haaparanta@helsinki.fi

Received: 15-June-2019 | Accepted: 30-June-2018 | Published: 30-June-2019
Disputatio [Jun. 2019], Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 00-00 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3509835
Article | [EN] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [es] | Vol. 8 No. 9

How to cite this article:
Haaparanta, Leila (2019). «Brandom, Wittgenstein, and Human Encounters». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 8, no. 9: pp. 00–00.


Abstract | There are several similarities between Robert B. Brandom’s and the later Wittgenstein’s views on linguistic meaning. Like Wittgenstein, Brandom rejects representationalism and takes linguistic practices to be the basis where all meaning rests. His inferentialism is a holistic view, already envisaged by Frege. The idea of a language game connects Brandom to Wittgenstein, although Wittgenstein’s idea has also been developed in various other directions. However, unlike Wittgenstein, Brandom pays special attention to the game of giving and asking for reasons. This difference already suggests that Brandom has a strong ethical overtone in his philosophy of language. For Wittgenstein, normativity seems to be normativity of language, while for Brandom it is basically normativity of actions for which persons are responsible. Brandom’s philosophy, which is loaded with deontic vocabulary, is a philosophy of human encounters. The present paper studies this very aspect of Brandom’s thought. It focuses on his theory of assertions in his Making It Explicit (1994) and elaborates a view of assertions that is possible on Wittgenstein’s terms. The paper then reappraises Wittgenstein’s views on philosophy and philosophical, particularly ethical, propositions. It seeks to show that Wittgenstein comes closest to the Brandomian ethical model of discursive practice in his comments on the limits of language. These comparisons also reveal that Brandom and Wittgenstein agree on the nature of ethical vocabulary; neither of them goes in for ethical theorizing. Brandom’s later works, such as his Reason in Philosophy (2009b), open up new perspectives on his ethical thought. This paper is primarily a study of the role that ethics plays in his philosophy of language in 1994.
Keywords |
Assertion · Ethics · Language Game · Meaning · Normativity.

Brandom, Wittgenstein y encuentros humanos

Resumen | Hay varias similitudes entre la manera de ver significado lingüístico de Robert B. Brandom y del Wittgenstein tardío. Igual que Wittgenstein, Brandom rechaza el representacionalismo y toma las prácticas lingüísticas como la base en la cual todo significado está soportado. Su inferencialismo es una visión holista, ya puesto en la mira por Frege. La idea de un juego de lenguaje conecta Brandom con Wittgenstein, aunque la idea de Wittgenstein fue extendida también en varias otras direcciones. A diferencia de Wittgenstein, sin embargo, Bandom presta atención en particular al juego de dar y pedir razones. Esta diferencia ya por sí sugiere que Brandom tiene un fuerte matiz ético en su filosofía del lenguaje. La normatividad para Wittgenstein parece ser la normatividad del lenguaje, mientras que para Brandom es básicamente la normatividad de acciones para las cuales las personas son responsables. La filosofía de Brandom que es cargada de vocabulario deóntico es una filosofía de encuentros humanos. Este trabajo estudia precisamente este aspecto del pensamiento de Brandom. Se enfoca en su teoría de afirmaciones en su obra Making It Explicit (1994) y detalla un punto de vista sobre afirmaciones que es posible en el lenguaje de Wittgenstein. El trabajo revalúa entonces los puntos de vista de Wittgenstein acerca de la filosofía y las proposiciones filosóficas, en particular, éticas. El objetivo es mostrar que Wittgenstein está más cerca del modelo ético Brandomiano de la práctica discursiva en sus comentarios sobre los límites del lenguaje. Estas comparaciones ponen al descubierto también que Brandom y Wittgenstein están de acuerdo sobre la naturaleza del vocabulario ético; ninguno de los dos entra al terreno de la teorización ética. Los trabajos posteriores de Brandom como su Reason in Philosophy (2009b) abren nuevas perspectivas acerca de su pensamiento ético. El presente trabajo es en primer lugar un estudio del papel que la ética ocupa en su filosofía de lenguaje en 1994.
Palabras Clave | Afirmación · Ética · Juego de lenguaje · Significado · Normatividad.


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