Let us take another example. One of the rules that one should consider is the hygiene rule, which is common andeasy to follow. This rule states
that one should wash hands properly before meal (the rule).This rule is known and followed in our Western culture. We teach are children to wash their hands properly before meal, etc.
One could add that this rule is almost universally followed, that is to say, if circumstances areordinary, then the all humans will wash their hands before meal. However, there are cases in which
humans do not wash their hands before meal (exception to the rule)
if one is starving to death, or if one is very hungry, or if there is just enough time to eat something quickly,then one does not wash hands before meal (possible reasons for exception to the rule).This is in fact standard procedure of so to speak “default practical reasoning” in a sense that even exceptions arerule–like or standardised, and of “default practice” which says that humans will follow the rule almost blindly if they recognise that the circumstances of an action or a practice are ordinary or usual. However, if one recognisesthat there is something of equal value or more valuable then the regular practice itself namely that circumstancesare not ordinary but “exceptional”, then one should break the rule. Cases of breaking a rule for various (standard)reasons are considered (also standard) exceptions. This seems to be obvious, namely,
if a person P is engaged in an activity A, which is a clear-cut example of following the rule R, and if Pintentionally does not follow R (as well as following any other rule whatsoever), and circumstances are notexceptional, then P's A could be considered as breaking the rule. In such circumstances A goes against therule.Therefore, an exception cannot be considered to confirm, or to prove the rule. However, if something is anexception to the rule, then surely it presupposes the rule. Namely,(5) if there is an exception, there must be a rule also, however,(6) if a rule is universally applied (a), then any exception presupposes its existence, and proves itsinvalidity, but(7) if a rule is usually applied (b), then any exception presupposes its existence, and some exceptionscan prove its validity.This can mean that exception confirms or proves an existence of a rule, since there cannot be exceptions withoutrules. On the other hand, if a rule is regarded as being universal (i.e. that it should be followed always, i.e.“without exception” and this particular synonymity being an issue in its own right), and if this is its essentialfeature, then any exception, no matter how minor or insignificant, should be considered as a violation of a rule,and therefore the rule is invalid, or even that a rule does not exist at all. Consequently, an exception can beconsidered to violate the rule, and to confirm or prove that the rule does not exist at all if the rule is universallyapplied, (a), but it can be considered to confirm the existence of the rule and more to that its validity as well if itis only usually applied (b).Via this distinction applied one can escape the paradox, namely if an exception confirms that there is norule, then there is no exception as well, since (5) i.e. no rule, no exception applies. Now, consider the followingrule(8) “Any rule has at least one exception”, if this rule is true, then the following is true as well,(9) “Any rule can be usually applied only.” and(10) “There is no rule that can be universally applied.”However, if the last proposition (10) is considered a rule, then it must be only usually applied (9), namely,(11) (10)
(9).Furthermore, if it is usually applied (9), then it must have at least one exception (8), namely,(12) (9)
(8), and consequently(13) (10)
(8). Now, is it impossible that (10) is its own sole exception? Namely, the rule (10) that there is no rule that can beuniversally applied can be only usually applied (9) which means that (10) it has at least one exception, andexception says,(14) that there is a rule that says that there is rule that can be universally applied. Now, if this is not the case, then it is possible that there is at least one rule that is universally applied, namely thenegation of 10, or (¬10). Say, that the rule “All birds can fly” is the only rule, and therefore it must beuniversally applied. If it is so, then the proposition “Penguins are flightless birds” cannot be its exception. If it is
More to that, one can consider the proposition “Humans wash their hand before meal” as a “grammatical proposition” regarding particular cultural institution or custom in Wittgenstein’s terms, namely that it describesrule–like activity or practice, or particular and quite common pattern of action, no matter how culturally relativeit may be, (see Baker, Hacker 1985, Forster 2004, Krkač, Lukin 2008). However, one must be aware that at leastfor Wittgenstein experiential and grammatical propositions can switch places, and merge occasionally (see hisriver–image “On Certainty” §: 94–9).