- Paperback: 762 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (30 Oct. 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674543300
- ISBN-13: 978-0674543300
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 23.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing & Discursive Commitment: Reasoning, Representing and Discursive Commitment Paperback – 30 Oct 1998
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More About the Author
Making It Explicit has already developed a justified reputation as a major contribution to the philosophy of language. It takes the traditional ill-fitting story of the relationship between language and the world and turns it upside down. Instead of starting with the existence of the world and explaining what it is for language to represent the world, it starts with language and explains what it is for the world to be represented by language...With tremendous panache, he launches into accounts of normativity, inference, meaning, truth, reference and objectivity, trying to show that the later concepts in that list are made intelligible by the earlier. -- Rowland Stout Times Literary Supplement Making It Explicit is a landmark in theoretical philosophy comparable to that constituted in the early seventies by A Theory of Justice in practical philosophy...Drawing upon the resources furnished by his intricate theory of language, Brandom succeeds in offering a thoroughly convincing description of the practices within which beings capable of language and action express their rationality and autonomy. -- Jurgen Habermas Wahrheit und Rechtfertigung Robert Brandom's magnificent book is an attempt to rework the whole of the philosophy of language in terms of normative, socially articulated pragmatics. His approach, inferentialism, which he traces through Kant and Frege to Wittgenstein and Sellars, is opposed to a more standard approach, representationalism...Making It Explicit is written with an exhilarating argumentative relish and tremendous assurance and thoroughness. -- Rowland Stout Mind Robert Brandom's Making it Explicit is an unusual book on the Anglo-American scene...What Brandom achieves is a convincing elaboration of the view of intentionality as a linguistic, normative and social-pragmatic affair...Brandom's book is the first detailed elaboration of the position that it is normative attitudes which distinguishes us, insofar as we are thinking and acting beings, from the physical. It will hopefully contribute to giving that position the attention it deserves in contemporary philosophy of mind. -- Michael Epsfield Erkenntnis 19990101
About the Author
Robert B. Brandom is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.
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It is easy for me to say that this is a "must-read" book, but that would not be fair in consideration of its length and difficulty. What I can say is that anyone who has the opportunity to embark on the project of reading it will come out enlightened and enriched.
I think this book should be would as a must read for students of contemporary philosophy.Wahrheit Und Rechtfertigung
The prerequisites for reading *Making It Explicit* are rather few; the reader must have encountered Frege and the later Wittgenstein, for these figures are so central to the book's account that Brandom cannot fully spell out their importance for the argument. With slightly dimmer stars, however, Brandom's synoptic account of thought and language usefully locates them within his pragmatist panorama; if you have heard of "reliabilism", "externalism", or "anti-Cartesianism", sections in the book patiently and carefully explain the steak and not the sizzle of these philosophical views. A tantalizing quote from Hegel's *Phenomenology* offers a clue to the book's title, but the importance of Hegelian "mediation" for Brandom's "inferentialism" emerges, quite appropriately, from the whole. The *Phenomenology* ignores no realist objection to Absolute Idealism, and Brandom spends a great deal of time talking about just how his rationalism can "comprehend all reality".
A few notes: at this early stage in his career, Brandom was not quite fair to his Pittsburgh colleague John McDowell, who appears in the book solely as an "intuition pump" for intellectually hygenic philosophy; and although he has gone on to examine the core of de rigeur analysis, modal logic and modally-inflected arguments, in *Between Saying and Doing* "intensions" make only the briefest of appearances here. However, slightly older philosophical luminaries (like Davidson and Michael Dummett) make frequent appearances and Brandom avoids the pitfalls of being an epigone; the resonances between his "giving and asking for reasons" and their positions are very interesting. Non-philosophical intellectuals may be cheered to hear that the book has gratifying overtones of G.H. Mead's masterpiece *Mind, Self, and Society*: "taking the attitude of the other" is just what Brandom's "deontic scorekeeping" amounts to.
Not airplane reading; essential reading for people who want to understand what the contemporary intellectual world is about. Begin your philosophical recovery today.
As for his influences, Brandom's theories are heavily informed by Kant, Frege, Wittgenstein, Michael Dummet, Wilfrid Sellars, Donald Davidson, and John McDowell. I would recommend that one be rather familiar with the work of at least a couple of these philosophers, and analytic philosophy of language in general, before delving into this book.
Although this is a great book, its not a true masterpiece. For one thing the writing is needlessly difficult, even more so that many continental philosophers. He never really achieves or even aims for clarity, and his arguments are often difficult to follow. Reading the work, I often had the impression that he was attempting to sound poetic and deep, but he just comes off like a high school student who is simply trying to hard, if you know what I mean. Also, his account of logic seems to be an implicit form psychologism, verging on social constructivism, which doesn't at all sit right (thankfully his theory of logic isn't particularly convincing). He also never really brings all his disparate ideas together. One can certainly see a common theme in all his claims, but he never really relates them to one another or unifies them into a single theory, even though this is quite obviously what he's attempting to do.