Philosophical Topics

Volume 50, Issue 1, Spring 2022

Inferentialism on Naturalized Grounds

Jaroslav Peregrin
Pages 33-54

Inferentialism Naturalized

Brandom’s inferentialism explains meaning in terms of inferential rules. As he insists that “the normative” (including meanings) is not reducible to “the natural,” inferentialism would seem an unlikely ally of naturalism. However, in this paper I suggest that Brandom’s theory of language harbors insights which can promote a naturalistic theory of meaning and language, and that a naturalistic version of Brandom’s inferentialism might have great potential. Also I sketch the lines along which such a theory could be built.