Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 11, No. 2 (December 2014), 147163 Editions Rodopi ©2014 This article extends the scope of Brandom's normative pragmatism and its linguistically-oriented concept of sapience to cover the problems of sapience or understanding in art, with particular focus on music. To achieve this, the transition from the "acoustical space" to the "musical space" is portrayed as a matter of seeing the acoustical norms, such as the circle of fifths, as norms participating in the formation of expectations and emotions based on them along the lines suggested by Meyer and Huron. In his project of normative pragmatism, Robert Brandom1 rejected the naturalist concept of knowledge as based exclusively on reliable differential responsive dispositions and replaced it with a complex, linguistically- and socially-oriented picture in which understanding is not reduced to the ability of reliable responses to external impulses that we share with parrots, lichens, and thermometers, but is elevated, in a roughly Hegelian way, to a complex social status of undertaking inferential commitments and being recognized as such by others. Hence, a parrot's crying out the word "red" might be as reliable response as possible, but it still would not qualify as a sign of understanding because
Contemporary Pragmatism – Brill
Published: Apr 21, 2014
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