SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

Papers Proceedings »

Affirming Denial: Peirce and Brandom on an Alleged Blindspot of Classical Pragmatism

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Dave Beisecker
United States

Brandom contends that the classical American pragmatists subscribe to a semantic program that is insufficiently one-sided in that it focuses exclusively on the downstream consequences of concept application, while neglecting its upstream conditions. Focusing on passages from Peirce’s later work, I show that while Peirce does unpack meaning in terms of the consequences of concept application, his inclusion of the consequences of denying claims involving a concept allow him to capture the inferential space that Brandom contends the classical pragmatists miss. Thus at least Peirce is one classical pragmatist who would not seem to suffer from that particular semantic blindspot.


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