Robert Brandoms Inferentialismus und das Problem der Kommunikation

  • Bernd Prien Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Keywords: inferentialism, communication, problem of communication, propositional content, conventionality, linguistic meaning, ascription, meaning holism, Robert Brandom


It is generally acknowledged that proponents of a holistic inferentialism face the question of how linguistic communication is possible because their thesis seems to commit them to the view that claims have different meanings for different speakers. In his book Making It Explicit (MIE), Brandom defends a holistic inferentialism and he also concedes that his theory faces the problem of communication just mentioned. In the first part of my contribution, I will offer an account of how exactly this problem arises in the context of Brandom’s theory of propositional content. Following that, I will reconstruct Brandom’s answer to this problem in part two of my paper. With regard to this answer, however, Daniel Whiting has argued in his article Meaning Holism and De Re Ascription that it contains a gap. In the third part of my paper, I will briefly discuss the nature of the gap in Brandom’s answer and propose a way in which this gap could be filled within the theoretical context of MIE