Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (2021)

In his lucid and helpful reply, Chris Drain (2021) clarifies some of his views and aims and offers pertinent criticisms of my own. Drain refocuses my forays into Pittsburgh Hegelianism onto Vygotsky’s own thought. He rightly notes that Brandom’s account of deontic scorekeeping tells us nothing about phylogenesis. Sellars too has little to say about the origins of language and social practice and I would endorse the projects of those who turn to Tomasello to fill such gaps (Koons 2018). However, I still do not think Drain has got Vygotsky’s Hegel right. I do not think one can substitute “Hegelian” for “Janetian”, and I hope to show why this matters. Drain also objects to my characterization of Tomasello as Cartesian. There is of course a long line of philosophers from Deleuze to Dennett charging all those who fall across their path with covert Cartesianism. I will not besmirch this venerable custom here. In my reply I contrast the Hegelian-Marxist approach to language of Vygotsky with the Cartesian approach of Tomasello. I conclude by suggesting some active research programmes which overcome this Cartesiansim while following the trajectories of Vygotsky’s own project.
Keywords Vygotsky  Michael Tomasello
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The Ethics of Wilfrid Sellars.Jeremy Randel Koons - 2018 - New York, USA: Routledge.

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