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Glock Routledge Meaning Rules 2008

Glock Routledge Meaning Rules 2008

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University of Zurich
Zurich Open Repository and Archive
Winterthurerstr. 190CH-8057 Zurichhttp://www.zora.uzh.ch
Year: 2008
Meaning, rules, and conventions
Glock, H J
Glock, H J (2008). Meaning, rules, and conventions. In: Zamuner, E; Levy, D K. Wittgenstein's EnduringArguments. New York, 156-178.Postprint available at:http://www.zora.uzh.chPosted at the Zurich Open Repository and Archive, University of Zurich.http://www.zora.uzh.chOriginally published at:Zamuner, E; Levy, D K 2008. Wittgenstein's Enduring Arguments. New York, 156-178.
Meaning, Rules and Conventions vf1:01/12/2008,; 6:49 PM
MEANING, RULES AND CONVENTIONSHans-Johann GlockUniversity of Zurich
Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Languages
placed the so-called ‘rule-following considerations’ at the centre of philosophical attention. Kripke does notpurport to provide an accurate account of the primary texts, but to propound‘Wittgenstein’s argument as it struck Kripke’ (1982: 5). As regards its content,Kripke’s interpretation is characterized by two features. First, like many othercommentators, he adopts a
reading of Wittgenstein, according towhich rule-following and language are inherently social; secondly, like Fogelin(1976) before him, he portrays Wittgenstein as constructing a sceptical paradox inthe style of Hume. As regards Wittgenstein studies proper, Kripke’s book stimulated an unprecedented interest in his remarks on rule-following, leading e.g.to McDowell’s communitarian yet non-sceptical reading (1998). It also helped torekindle interest in Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics, for instancethrough Crispin Wright (1980). But it was vigorously attacked by more orthodoxinterpreters like Baker and Hacker (1984). At the same time, Kripke’s book wasthe starting point for a debate about ‘Kripkenstein’ on rule-following, a debatewhich is now conducted largely in blissful disregard for Wittgenstein’s ownwritings (see Miller/Wright 2002).My aim is to show that these writings, as well as those of Wittgensteinians,are relevant to one important question that has emerged from the Kripkensteindebate: Is there an essentially normative dimension to language and linguisticmeaning? Both Wittgenstein scholars and Kripkenstein enthusiasts have tended toignore one important fact. While the sceptical interpretation of Wittgenstein is
Meaning, Rules and Conventions vf1:01/12/2008,; 6:49 PM
2wrong and the community interpretation contentious at best, as regards the
normativity of meaning
Kripke has highlighted and ably defended a genuinelyWittgensteinian idea.Furthermore, that idea is of undeniable importance to contemporarydebates. The normativity of meaning is rightly perceived as a serious challenge tonaturalism. Normativitism, generally speaking, is the view that human thoughtand behaviour differ from inanimate nature and the behaviour of ‘mere’ animalsin that they are subject to norms or rules, standards which prescribe and evaluate.Such norms have always appeared as a threat to naturalism, since they seem todefy reduction to the causal regularities recognized by the natural sciences. Theyhave also inspired attempts to avoid
epistemological naturalism, the viewthat there is no knowledge outside of natural science,
ontologicalsupernaturalism, the view that there are supernatural entities such as God, Platonicforms or Cartesian souls. The most important attempts of this kind hail fromWittgenstein and philosophers influenced by him, e.g. Sellars, Brandom,McDowell, Putnam, von Savigny, and Hacker. The basic idea is that humanbeings are special not because they are connected to a reality beyond the physicalworld of space, time and matter, but because they can only be adequatelyunderstood from a normative perspective alien to the natural sciences. For thisreason, there is knowledge outside of natural science, knowledge of language andmeaning, for example, even though it does not deal with supernatural entities.In this paper I shall not pronounce on whether such a third way is feasible.Nor shall I try to defend the normativity of meaning against all the extantanimadversions (see Glock 2005; Whiting 2007). Instead I show how the issueemerged from Wittgensteins’s philosophy of language (sct. 1). I shall also rejectinterpretations that distance him from semantic normativity (sct. 4). My main aim

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