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Between Saying and DoingTowards an Analytic Pragmatism$
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Robert B. Brandom

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542871

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542871.001.0001

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Modality and Normativity: From Hume and Quine to Kant and Sellars

Modality and Normativity: From Hume and Quine to Kant and Sellars

Chapter:
(p.92) 4 Modality and Normativity: From Hume and Quine to Kant and Sellars
Source:
Between Saying and Doing
Author(s):

Robert B. Brandom (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542871.003.0004

Empiricist skepticism about the intelligibility of alethic modal vocabulary is countered by the modal Kant–Sellars thesis: in being able to use ordinary, non-modal descriptive vocabulary, one already knows how to do everything one needs to know how to do in order to deploy alethic modal vocabulary. Such vocabulary serves the expressive function of making explicit commitments to the counterfactual robustness of the material inferences that articulate the content of non-modal empirical descriptive vocabulary. A corresponding normative Kant–Sellars thesis is also expounded and defended. Both modal and deontic vocabularies can be elaborated from and make explicit essential features of every autonomous discursive practice.

Keywords:   modality, normativity, Hume, Kant, Quine, Sellars, empiricism, skepticism

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