Brandom has helpfully interpreted Richard Rorty’s commitment to [pragmatic metavocabularies] in terms of:
- refusing to countenance self-interpreting presences, or in other words refusing to allow ‘representations’ without accounts of what is done in taking one thing as standing for another,
- suspicion of semantic atomism: we must remember that ‘meaning is holistic because understanding is’
- suspicion of semantic nominalism (interpreting language in terms of a name/bearer relation; ignoring Frege’s insight into the priority of judgments and claims made by whole sentential episodes).
As Brandom presents it, use of a semantic metavocabulary does not entail these errors, but it is ‘guilty by association’.