, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 55-73
Date: 12 Jan 2011

Expressivism and the Layer Cake Picture of Discursive Practice

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Abstract

Robert Brandom defends the intelligibility of the notion of a fully discursive practice that does not include any kind of logical vocabulary. Logical vocabulary, according to his account, should be understood as an optional extra to discursive practice, not as a necessary ingredient. Call this the Layer Cake Picture of the relation of logical to non-logical discursive practices. The aim pursued in this paper is to show, by way of an internal critique, that the Layer Cake Picture is in fact incompatible with the most central claims of Brandom’s philosophy. A way is sketched how to give up the Layer Cake Picture and still hold on to a position that is central to Brandom’s philosophical outlook, namely his expressivism about logic.