From Rules to Meanings
New Essays on Inferentialism
Inferentialism is a philosophical approach premised on the claim that an item of language (or thought) acquires meaning (or content) in virtue of being embedded in an intricate set of social practices normatively governed by inferential rules. Inferentialism found its paradigmatic formulation in Robert Brandom's landmark book Making it Explicit, andover the last two decades it has established itself as one of the leading research programs in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of logic. While Brandom's version of inferentialism has received wide attention in the philosophical literature, thinkers friendly to inferentialism have proposed and developed new lines of inquiry that merit wider recognition and critical appraisal.
From Rules to Meaning brings together new essays that systematically develop, compare, assess and critically react to some of the most pertinent recent trends in inferentialism. The book's four thematic sections seek to apply inferentialism to a number of core issues, including the nature of meaning and content, reconstructing semantics, rule-oriented models and explanations of social practices and inferentialism's historical influence and dialogue with other philosophical traditions. With contributions from a number of distinguished philosophers—including Robert Brandom and Jaroslav Peregrin—this volume is a major contribution to the philosophical literature on the foundations of logic and language.