this justiﬁcation for realism is not empiricist.This thesis is a syntheticproposition we can know
.It is is transcendental because itconcerns an
way of knowing a key feature of human cogni-tion (cf.B25),based on the very possibility of our enjoying self-conscious experience of worldly events (cf.B275).OrthodoxWittgensteinians will protest that Wittgenstein rejected
argu-ment,and that he severely cautioned us to be careful any time aphilosopher starts talking about how things must be.
Indeed wemust.However,being careful about how things ‘must’be is consis-tent with pointing out how things must be,at least under speciﬁedconditions – provided we
careful about it.Wittgenstein’s cautionsabout such ‘musts’didn’t preclude his showing forcefully that privatelanguage is impossible,and that rules cannot be followed in theabstract,algorithmic individualist way too often supposed by for-malists (and deductivists) of many stripes.
Nor did it prevent himfrom showing forcefully that we can use language and can followrules only within and because of our relatively stable and identiﬁ-able social and worldly context.
This point is the topic of the presentessay.The line of argument I shall develop reconsiders the phenomenathat gave rise to the notion that our concepts have an ‘open texture’.To say that our concepts have ‘open texture’is to say that identify-ing objects or events by subsuming them under our concepts cannotand does not preclude those objects behaving in ways that defy our conceptual classiﬁcations,or our expectations based on those classi-ﬁcations.Philosophers noticed this ‘open texture’in connection with304
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd.2005
ed.,1958;cited as ‘
II §41,III §§30 ¶2,31 ¶1,VI §§7,8,24,46,VII §67.4.‘Hence “to follow the rule”is a practice.And to
one follows the rule is not:to follow the rule.And thus one cannot follow the rule “privately”,becauseotherwise to believe one follows the rule would be the same as to follow the rule’(
§202;my tr.).5.About the role of social context in rule-following,see Ike von Savigny,‘Self-conscious Individual versus Social Self:The Rationale of Wittgenstein’s Discussionof Rule Following’,
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
51 (1991),67–84.Aboutthe role of natural,environmental regularities in these issues,see Severin Schroeder,‘Private Language and Private Experience’,in:H.-J.Glock,ed.,
Wittgenstein:A Crit-ical Reader
(Oxford:Blackwell,2001),174–98.The most probing reconstruction of Wittgenstein’s points about private language as an argument is Crispin Wright,‘Does
I.258–60 Suggest a Cogent Argument against Private Lan-guage?’,in:P.Pettit & J.McDowell,eds.,