Racjonalistyczny pragmatyzm i krytyka empiryzmu w filozofii Roberta B. Brandoma
RATIONALIST PRAGMATISM AND THE CRITIQUE OF EMPIRICISM IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF ROBERT B. BRANDOM
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At the outset of the article I set forth a general characterization of Robert B. Brandom’s philosophy, as belonging to the post-empiricist tradition with inferentialism as its main idea. In section 2 I discuss four dichotomies important to the methodology which allows Brandom to construct his philosophical system. My point is to indicate the arbitrariness of the absolutist account of these dichotomies, which gives rise to misuse of relative categories. In effect, Brandom’s dichotomic way of theoretical exposition does not respect Davidson’s principle of relationism, which Brandom himself declares to accept. In the next section, I go on to consider two basic motives for the resolute Brandomian attack on empiricism: strong inferentialist and antirepresentationalist theses. Pertaining to this view is also the claim of irreducible linguistic normativity. In section 4, these questions are treated in the context of the apparently novel theory of semantic pragmatism. Section 5 is crucial to my purposes. There I criticize the excessively narrow Brandomian conception of empiricism in the theory of meaning. I argue that Brandom’s attack on empiricism depends on a false analysis of the distinction between circumstances and consequences of application holding for sentences. In addition, the problem of conceptual content’s fine grainess is treated, as well as the Kantian dichotomy of reasons versus causes, interpreted by Brandom in terms of the social/natural distinction. Finally, section 6 deals with the relation holding between the concept of reason on the one hand, and the objectivism and representationalism theses, on the other. Despite appearances, in Brandom’s philosophical system there is no place for objective standards of procedural reason.
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