MAKING IT EXPLICIT AND CLEAR: FROM “STRONG” TO “HYPER-” INFERENTIALISM IN BRANDOM AND PEIRCE

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Abstract:

Abstract:

This article explores how Robert Brandom's original “inferentialist” philosophical framework should be positioned with respect to the classical pragmatist tradition. It is argued that Charles Peirce's original attack (in “Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man” and other early papers) on the use of “intuition” in nineteenth-century philosophy of mind is in fact a form of inferentialism, and thus an antecedent relatively unexplored by Brandom in his otherwise comprehensive and illuminating “tales of the mighty dead.” However, whereas Brandom stops short at a merely “strong” inferentialism, which admits some non-inferential mental content (although it is parasitic on the inferential and can only be “inferentially articulated”), Peirce embraces a total, that is, “hyper-,” inferentialism. Some consequences of this difference are explored, and Peirce's more thoroughgoing position is defended.

Keywords: Brandom; Peirce; inferentialism; intuition; pragmatism; qualia; representationalism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9973.2008.00527.x

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand, Email: clegg@waikato.ac.nz

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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