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Prof. Robert Brandom holds the Spinoza Chair at the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Humanities during the second term of the academic year 2020-2021. Prof. Brandom will be delivering the Spinoza Lectures under the title of 'Fetishism, Anti-Authoritarianism, and the Second Enlightenment: Rorty and Hegel on Representation and Reality.'

Event details of Spinoza Lecture (online): A Rortyan Pragmatist Master-Argument
Date 22 April 2021
Time 19:30 -21:00
Prof. Robert Brandom
Prof. Robert Brandom

During the last decade of his life, Rorty emphasized the anti-authoritarian credentials of his pragmatism. He came to see pragmatism as the fighting faith of a future second Enlightenment. The first Enlightenment, as Rorty construed it, concerned our emancipation from nonhuman authority in practical matters: issues of what we ought to do and how things ought to be. The envisaged second Enlightenment addresses rather our emancipation from nonhuman authority in theoretical matters. Pragmatism moves beyond the traditional model of reality as authoritative over our cognitive representations of it in language and thought to a new conception of how discursive practices help us cope with the vicissitudes of life.

About Robert Brandom

Robert Brandom is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has taught since 1976.  He received his BA in Philosophy and Mathematics from Yale University in 1972.  His 1977 PhD from Princeton University was supervised by Richard Rorty and David K. Lewis.

Brandom is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the British Academy. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award from the Mellon Foundation and the Anneliese Maier Forschungspreis from the Humboldt Stiftung. He has delivered the John Locke lectures at Oxford University, the Hempel lectures at Princeton, the Townsend and Howison lectures at Berkeley, the Aquinas lecture at Marquette, and the Brentano lectures in Vienna, among others. 

Brandom is the author of 15 books, which have been translated into many languages.  Among them are Making It Explicit (Harvard, 1994), Between Saying and Doing (Oxford, 2008), and A Spirit of Trust (Harvard, 2019). He is also the author of more than one hundred articles on a wide range of philosophical topics, most of which may be freely downloaded from his website.

The Spinoza Lectures

The Spinoza Lectures are given by high-profile thinkers of our time. They are intended for a wide audience that would like to keep abreast of current developments in philosophy.

For more information, send an email to secr.wijs-fgw@uva.nl