A Contentious Trinity: Levels of Entailment in Brandom's Pragmatist Inferentialism

Edgar Andrade-Lotero, Catarina Dutilh Novaes

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the relations among Brandom's three dimensions of semantic inferential articulation, namely, incompatibility entailments, committive consequences, and permissive consequences. In his unpublished manuscript "Conceptual Content and Discursive Practice" Brandom argues that (1) incompatibility entailment implies committive consequence, and that (2) committive consequence in turn implies permissive consequence. We criticize this hierarchy both on internal and external grounds. Firstly, we prove that, using Brandom's own definitions, the reverse of (1) also holds, and that the reverse of (2) may hold (but the proof relies on substantive assumptions). This suggests that there are no three different notions of inference emerging from Brandom's definitions, but at most two, and perhaps even just one. Secondly, this result puts into question the connections between the three inferential relations and the familiar notions of deduction and induction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophia
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

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