Robert Brandom's Making it Explicit (1994) marks a Copernican turn
in the philosophy of mind and language, as this collection of critical
essays together with Brandom's enlightening answers convincingly shows.
Though faithful to Wittgenstein's pragmatic turn in spirit,
Brandom gives a systematic account of human sapience as a whole - by
grounding our relation to the world by words on our discursive practice,
assessing its normative basis, which is instituted by scorekeeping
activities and sanctioning attitudes, and thus trying to avoid mystifying
mentalism as well as dogmatic naturalism in our account of the human
spirit. The topics emphasized in this volume concern the place of Brandom's
inferentialist and normative semantics in 20 century philosophy of language
(Frege, Carnap, Quine), also in comparison to cognitive linguistics
(Chomsky), instrumentalist pragmatism and functionalist understanding of
the use of signs (Sellars), deflation of intentionality (Brentano), the
logical analysis of predicative structures (Kant), the role of
constructions for understanding, the constitution of objectivity by
de-re-ascriptions and the problem of anti-representationalism, or how to
treat malapropisms (Davidson).
This volume was originally published as a Special Issue of Pragmatics &
Cognition (13:1, 2005).