Robert Brandom is one of the most renowned contemporary American philosophers, discussed widely in analytic as well as continental philosophical communities on both sides of the Atlantic. His innovative approach to language and rationality combines the philosophies of language and mind, epistemology, metaphysics, and logic with intriguing interpretations of historical philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein. Yet, due to its boldly unorthodox and highly technical nature, Brandom’s theory can also be daunting for the beginner.

In this accessible book, Ronald Loeffler provides a critical and clear-headed guide through the maze of Brandom’s philosophy. He conveys the pioneering nature of Brandom’s approach to language and communication, with its unabashed appropriation of the German Idealistic tradition, and offers focused, sure-footed introductions to all major aspects of Brandom’s thought, including his normative pragmatics and inferential role semantics and his theories of empirical knowledge, logic, linguistic representation, and objectivity.

This book will be essential reading for students of philosophy, as well as those in related fields with interests in language, communication, and the nature of norm-governed social interaction.

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  • November 2017
  • 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9780745664194
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9780745664200
  • Open eBook $26.95
  • 9781509523795
Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Meaning and Communication

Chapter 2: Mighty Dead: Kant and Hegel

Chapter 3: Scorekeeping

Chapter 4: Sentence Meaning, Term Meaning, Anaphora

Chapter 5: Empirical Content and Empirical Knowledge

Chapter 6: Logical Discourse

Chapter 7: Representation and Communication

Chapter 8: Phenomenalism about Norms and Objectivity

About the Author

Ronald Loeffler is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University. His main research interests are in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, epistemology, and meta-ethics, with special focus on the relation between linguistic practice, linguistic meaning, and our common sense psychological abilities.

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“Ronald Loeffler’s outstanding introduction to Robert Brandom’s thought covers all the bases: from situating the newcomer in Brandom’s grounding appropriations of Kant and Hegel, through crystal clear explanations of the more technical but essential inferentialist semantics, to more critical reflections on how it all hangs together as a groundbreaking outlook on our rational nature. Highly recommended at all levels.”
James R. O’Shea, University College Dublin

“Loeffler’s new introduction to Brandom’s work provides a very valuable guide to many of Brandom’s key ideas and relations among those ideas. It will be especially helpful to the beginning student, but useful also for more advanced readers looking for a synoptic view of Brandom’s corpus.”
Danielle Macbeth, Haverford College

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