Philosophy, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (1997), pp. 63–77. Copyright © 1997 University of Southern California. Published by Blackwell Publishers. Used by permission.


This paper develops and defends an internalist account of having authority for one’s claim. It begins with Robert Brandom’s pragmatist account of thinking which locates the root notion of reasoning in a primitive language game of asking for and giving reasons. The idea is that the authority of a claim can be spelled out pragmatically in terms of the social practice of undertaking commitments and attributing entitlements. It is argued that this account fails to acknowledge the role of the subject’s grasp of the higher-order concept of the evidence on which I base my claim.

Included in

Philosophy Commons