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Pragmatism and Idealism

Pragmatism and Idealism

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International Edition

About the Book

In this short book, based upon his Spinoza Lectures at the University of Amsterdam, Robert B. Brandom offers a pragmatist approach to representation and reality, drawing on Richard Rorty and Hegel.

During the last decade of his life, Rorty emphasized the anti-authoritarian credentials of his pragmatism. He came to see pragmatism as the fighting faith of a second phase of the Enlightenment. The first stage, as Rorty construed it, concerned our emancipation from nonhuman authority in practical matters: issues of what we ought to do and how things ought to be. The envisaged second stage addresses rather our emancipation from nonhuman authority in theoretical matters.

Brandom shows how pragmatism moves beyond the traditional model of reality as authoritative over our cognitive representations of it in language and thought, to a new conception of how discursive practices help us cope with the vicissitudes of life. Hegel anticipates the challenge to the very idea of objective reality as providing norms for thought which Rorty believed required us to enact a second phase of the Enlightenment. Unlike Rorty, Hegel presents a detailed, constructive, anti-authoritarian, non-fetishistic, social pragmatist account of the representational dimension of conceptual content. At its heart is an account of the social dimension of discursive normativity in terms of reciprocal recognition, and an account of the historical dimension of discursive normativity in terms of a distinctive new conception of reason: the recollective rationality that turns a past into a tradition. His idealism thereby offers a concrete pragmatist alternative to Rorty's global semantic and
epistemological anti-representationalism.

About the Author:
Robert B. Brandom, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh

Robert Brandom is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has taught since 1976. He received his BA in philosophy and mathematics from Yale University in 1972. His 1977 PhD from Princeton University was supervised by Richard Rorty and David K. Lewis. Brandom is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the British Academy. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award from the Mellon Foundation and the Anneliese Maier Forschungspreis from the Humboldt Stiftung. He has delivered the John Locke lectures at Oxford University, the Hempel lectures at Princeton, the Townsend and Howison lectures at Berkeley, the Aquinas lecture at Marquette, and the Brentano lectures in Vienna, among others.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780192870216
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: Y
  • Spine Width: 15 mm
  • Weight: 182 gr
  • ISBN-10: 0192870211
  • Publisher Date: 17 Nov 2022
  • Height: 188 mm
  • No of Pages: 160
  • Series Title: Spinoza Lectures
  • Sub Title: Rorty and Hegel on Representation and Reality
  • Width: 132 mm

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