Reading Brandom: On Making It Explicit, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reading Brandom

On Making It Explicit, 1st Edition

Edited by Bernhard Weiss, Jeremy Wanderer


374 pages

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Paperback: 9780415380379
pub: 2010-04-09
Hardback: 9780415380362
pub: 2010-04-09
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pub: 2010-04-13
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Robert Brandom’s Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing and Discursive Commitment is one of the most significant, talked about and daunting books published in philosophy in recent years. Featuring specially-commissioned chapters by leading international philosophers with replies by Brandom himself, Reading Brandom clarifies, critically appraises and furthers understanding of Brandom’s important book.

Divided into four parts - ‘Normative Pragmatics’; ‘The Challenge of Inferentialism’; ‘Inferentialist Semantics’; and ‘Brandom’s Replies’, Reading Brandom covers the following key aspects of Brandom’s work:

  • inferentialism vs. representationalism
  • normativity in philosophy of language and mind
  • pragmatics and the centrality of asserting
  • language entries and exits
  • meaning and truth
  • semantic deflationism and logical locutions.

Essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy of language and mind, Reading Brandom is also an excellent companion volume to Reading McDowell: On Mind and World, also published by Routledge.


'Many philosophers find Brandom’s Making It Explicit to be an impossibly indispensable book: too original, insightful and provocative to ignore, but too massive, wide-ranging, detailed and revisionist to assimilate in real time. Reading Brandom significantly lowers the barrier to serious philosophical engagement with this indisputably important work. Its well-chosen essays with Brandom’s replies bring clarity and focus to the central issues raised by his project.' – Joseph Rouse, Wesleyan University, USA

'Reading Brandom constitutes a thorough discussion of Brandom's work, bringing out the different aspects and tensions in Making it Explicit. Brandom's replies to his critics shed new light on his work and move the discussion an important step forward.' Michael Esfeld, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

'Like other great philosophers, Brandom builds conceptual resources whose significance transcends his applications of them, and whose fertility and rigor will leave a lasting mark on how philosophy is done. This excellent collection of essays and replies is an invaluable resource for anyone who wishes to master Brandom's work. Regardless of one’s area of specialization, there is profit in mastering it.' Rick Grush, University of California, San Diego, USA

'Anyone interested in Robert Brandom's influential magnum opus in the philosophy of language, Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment (Harvard, 1994), will want to own this fine collection of new critical essays on Brandom's work by prominent philosophers along with clarifying replies by Brandom. … Bernhard Weiss and Jeremy Wanderer have assembled an outstanding group of philosophers to probe and criticize or amend and extend Brandom's project.' – James R. O'Shea, University College Dublin, Ireland, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Normative Pragmatics 1. Thought, Norms, and Discursive Practice Allan Gibbard 2. Language not Mysterious? Charles Taylor 3. The Evolution of Why Daniel Dennett 4. Normativity of Mind Versus Philosophy as Explanation Sebastian Rodl 5. Pragmatism and Inferentialism John MacFarlane 6. Brandom’s Challenges Jeremy Wanderer 7. Perception, Language, and the First Person Mark Lance & Rebecca Kukla 8. Brandom on Observation John McDowell 9. Being Subject to the Rule to do What the Rules Tell You to do Roland Stout Part 2: The Challenge of Inferentialism 10. Inferentialism and its Critics Robert Brandom 11. Brandom Beleaguered Jerry Fodor & Ernest LePore Part 3: Inferentialist Semantics 12. Inference, Meaning, and Truth in Brandom, Sellars, and Frege Danielle Macbeth 13. Should semantics be deflated? Michael Dummett 14. Representation or Inference: Must we choose? Should we? Michael Kremer 15. What is Logic? Bernhard Weiss 16. Truth and Expressive Completeness Kevin Scharp 17. Assertibilist Truth and Objective Content: Still Inexplicit Crispin Wright & Bob Hale Part 4: Responses Replies Robert Brandom. Notes. Bibliography. Index

About the Editors

Bernhard Weiss is Senior Lecturer in philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author of Michael Dummett (2002) and co-editor of Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance (Routledge 2004).

Jeremy Wanderer is Lecturer in philosophy at the University of Cape Town.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology
PHILOSOPHY / Mind & Body