Disputatio 8 (9) (2019)

Danielle Macbeth
Haverford College
In Making It Explicit Brandom distinguishes between, as he puts it, I–We and I–Thou sociality. Only I–Thou sociality, Brandom argues, is adequate to the task of instituting norms relevant to our self–understanding as rational beings because only I–Thou sociality can render intelligible the distinction between how norms are applied and how they ought to be applied —however anyone thinks they ought to be applied. In his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein defends a version of I–We sociality, one that is not, I argue, subject to Brandom’s criticisms. Indeed, I suggest, it is just such a conception of I–We sociality as we find in Wittgenstein’s Investigations that is needed if we are fully to understand the respects in which we are, as the rational beings we are, answerable to the norm of truth.
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