This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Rule-Following Considerations Author(s): Paul A. Boghossian Source: Mind, New Series, Vol. 98, No. 392 (Oct., 1989), pp. 507-549 Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Mind Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2255039 . Accessed: 01/09/2013 20:48
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oxford University Press and Mind Association are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Mind.
This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Sun, 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
The Rule-Following Considerations'
PAUL A. BOGHOSSIAN This is thefifthof our commissioned State of the Art Series INTRODUCTION of interest in the i. Recentyearshave witnessed a greatresurgence of the later Wittgenstein, writings especiallywith those passagesroughly, Philosophical Investigations and Remarks on the ##I/38-242 Foundations ofMathematics, section VI-that areconcerned with thetopic ofrules.Much ofthecredit forall thisexcitement, unparalleled sincethe of Wittgenstein in the earlyI96os, mustgo to Saul heyday scholarship It is easyto explain Kripke'sWittgenstein onRulesandPrivate Language.2 why. To beginwith,the dialecticKripkeuncovered fromWittgenstein's is enormously on itsownterms. discussion exciting On Kripke's reading, on rule-following thepassages are concerned withsomeoftheweightiest of meaning, the reality, questionsin the theory questions-involving ofmeaning-that incontemandprivacy reducibility, occupy centre-stage as poraryphilosophy. Furthermore, Kripke represented Wittgenstein and extremely claimsconcerning defending a set of unified provocative fortheseclaimswithpowerand thesequestions. And,finally, he argued floodof articles and bookson the subjectof ruleThe ensuing clarity. and warranted. following was bothpredictable to survey thisliterature. The present paperis theresult ofan invitation on what It couldhavebeenaboutexegetical therecent discussions matters, have had to teachus about the historical Wittgenstein's philosophical witha it is almostentirely concerned views. In the event,however, of ofthephilosophical contributions. Limitations assessment retrospective thata choicebe made; and the philosophical assessment space dictated to do.3Despitea lotofdiscussion, there is seemed themore fruitful thing of Kripke's of the precisenature roomforan improved understanding
1 I am grateful including in thispaper, oftheissuescovered discussion peoplefor helpful to many Richard Allen, LarrySklar, Rorty, Barry Loewer, Fodor,Barry Burgess, Jerry John MarkJohnston, in various and participants SteveYablo, Nick White, Neil Tennant, Saul Kripke, Crispin Wright, Church, Jennifer aredue to Paul Benacerraf, Specialthanks at theUniversity ofMichigan. seminars and David Velleman. 'K'. 2 Cambridge, Harvard Press,I982. Henceforth, University interpretation of come to despairof a satisfactory 3 The main reasonis thatI have actually to appearin of Meaningin Wittgenstein', views.I tryto say whyin 'The Problem Wittgenstein's forthcoming. ed. K. Puhl,De Gruyter, Meaning Scepticism,
Mind, Vol. 98
Press I989 OxfordUniversity
This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Sun, 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
5o8 Paul A. Boghossian
of their to the wider ultimate and of their relation arguments, cogency, in contemporary ofmeaning ofmindand language. discussion philosophy on thethread to a Pulling thatis Kripke's argument leadsquitenaturally ofmany ofthemostsignificant discussion issuesoccupying philosophers in thatlies themainimpetus behind thepresent today; essay. I proceedas follows. In partsI and II, I lay out the essentials of In subsequent I offer of Kripke'sargument. an extended parts, critique it presents, thedialectic on its own terms and independently considered of exegetical A discussion of the critical concerns. literature will be inas appropriate. The moral willnotbe recognizably woven Wittgensteinofmeaning ian:I shallargue theconception that, pace Kripke's intent, that is a realist, and judgement-independent conemerges non-reductionist, one which, sustains no obvious ception, moreover, animus against private language.
The sceptical problem As Kripke seesit,theburden oftherule-following is that considerations it cannot be trueofanysymbol thatit expresses someparticular literally This is the now-famous conceptor meaning. conclusion' he 'sceptical attributes to Wittgenstein:
function by '+'...
is no fact about methat distinguishes between mymeaning a definite [T]here
and mymeaning at all.4 nothing
to be supported? How is sucha radical thesis in effect, Kripke argues, by elimination: all the available factspotentially relevantto fixing the in a given ofa symbol meaning speaker's abouthowthe repertoire-facts hasactually usedtheexpression, facts speaker abouthowhe is disposed to use it,and facts abouthis qualitative mental and history are canvassed, foundwanting. on whatit is foran expression to Adequatereflection wouldbetray, so Kripke us to believe, possessa meaning invites that that couldnotbe constituted fact by anyof those. The claimis, of course,indisputable in connection withfactsabout actualuse and qualitative it is a familiar and well-assimilated phenomena; lessonof, precisely, Wittgenstein's thatneither Investigations, of those in isolation offact or in combination, species it could,either what capture is for a symbolto possess a meaning.Much more important and of a dispositional is Kripke'srejection controversial, however, of account
K., p. 2I.
This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Sun, 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
509 Considerations TheRule-Following meaningfacts.Why are factsabout how a speakeris disposed to use an its meaning? to determine expressionheld to be insufficient First,the idea of meaning Kripke develops two sortsof consideration. character if I meanplus by a wordis an idea withan infinitary something about how I oughtto apply no end oftruths by ' + ', thenthereare literally the term,namely to just the membersof this set of triplesand not to if I am to use it in accord withits meaning.This is not merelyan others, example; it holds forany concept. If I mean of the arithmetical artefact horseby 'horse', then there are literallyno end of truthsabout how it would be correctforme to apply the term to horseson Alpha Centauri, and so on, but not to cows or cats wherever to horsesin ImperialArmenia, theymay be if I am to use it in accord with its meaning.But, Kripke is finite, being the dispositionsof a of my dispositions argues,the totality time. And so, factsabout dispositions finite being that exists fora finite cannotcapturewhat it is forme to mean additionby '+'. stemsfromthe so-called theory The second objectionto a dispositional harderto state,but a of meaning.This objectionis somewhat 'normativity' will do fornow. The pointis that,if I mean something roughformulation of truths thatare generatedas thenthe potentialinfinity by an expression, to applythe about how I ought truths: theyare truths a resultare normative about ifI am to apply it in accord withits meaning,not truths expression, by an expression,it appears, how I-will apply it. My meaningsomething it guaranteesonly that does not guaranteethat I will apply it correctly; therewill be a factof the matterabout whethermy use of it is correct. may be convertedinto a conditionof adequacy on Now, this observation theoriesof meaning: any proposed candidate for being the propertyin virtueof whichan expressionhas meaningmust be such as to groundthe of meaning it ought to be possible to read offfromany normativity use of ofa word,whatis thecorrect property allegedmeaning-constituting Kripke maintains,that a disposithat word. And this is a requirement, to use a speaker'sdisposition cannotpass: one cannotread off tionaltheory for use of thatexpression, in a certainway whatis the correct an expression to be disposed to use an expressionin a certainway implies at most that one will, not that one should. The contentsof thought mental and othercontent-bearing intentions, 3. But whatabout thoughts, is More specifically: in the scepticalargument? states?How do theyfigure solelyto the scepticalthesisdirectedagainstthemas well, or is it confined representation? linguistic could be confined It is hardto see how a convincing meaningscepticism purely to the linguistic domain, given the intimate relation between thought and language. Philosophers divide, of course, on the precise
the suggestionthat some appropriatelygeneral thoughtor intention the soughtaftermeaning-determining factcomes up constitutes the dispositional accountof meaning before earlyin Kripke's presentation.Does Kripke a separateargument againstthe possibility see this need and does he show how it is to be met? Colin McGinn has argued thatthe answerto both questions is 'no': ofhisparadox. I44-6. I957. and on the latter (Sellarsian) picture.it will be worthwhile In fact.Urbana. Clarendon Meaning.since it is fromlinguistic withoutthereby meaningthat thoughtcontentis held to derive. language-specific thoughtcontent. meaningis to have any prospectof If a scepticalthesisabout linguistic of mentalmeaning the possibility succeeding.however.6 I think to see why. S. linguisticmeaningwithoutthreatening cannot threaten since it is fromthoughtthatlinguisticmeaningis held to derive. as Sellarslikesto putit-that tendsto predominate. in Britain whereas it appearsto be theSellarsian (Wittgensteinian?) viewthatthinking is a form of internalized speaking-speech inforointerno. he has to arguethatthe notionof possessing a determinate concepts. For theGricean viewsee H. I972. Since the Gricean holds that fixedcontent itemsacquire theirmeaningfromthe antecedently linguistic to the effect thatnothingnon-mental fixes of mentalstates. presentation up a reallacunain Kripke's My third point . Basil Blackwell. I972. For the Sellarsianview see his and thePhilosophy 'Empiricism ofMind'. I963. thatnothing non-mental fixeslinguistic meaning.on a Sellarsianview. Philosophical Review.University dence'. This content downloaded from 168.in Intentionality. the semantic propertiesof language derive from the representational or is it the otherway round?5Whateverthe correct properties of thought. that Kripke explains showsthatthe to thelevelof concepts is to be carried out.in his Science. beliefs.thatresultis automatic.Wittgenstein onMeaning.therewould appear to be no plausible way to promotea one On the former (Gricean) picture.he needs to be given linguistic of mentalcontent. and brief reflection exercise is by no meanstrivial.thatlinguistic expressions acquiretheir semantic and desires. Schiffer. It cannot concept oftheparadox howthis extension howthis needis tobe met.. Oxford. Either way. pp. properties byvirtue ofbeing usedwith certain intentions. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . London. P. ed. answer. Perception andReality.it is the Griceanview. Boghossian Do on the question of priority: natureof this relationand.5.5 IO Paul A.176. For a debateon thepriority question see 'The Chisholm-Sellars CorresponMindand Language. in particular.it must also threaten given (or content). I984. be said. .'Meaning'.however. Press.Routledge and KeganPaul. A.But on a a demonstration Gricean view mattersare not so simple. Oxford. 6 ColinMcGinn. is likewise devoidoffactual foundation. that is most influential. contentand meaningmust stand or fall together. Marras. points at thelevelof forKripketo applyhis paradox The pointis thatit is necessary thatis. See also. is consideredand foundwanting: In theUnitedStates. and related papers. one cannot threatenlinguisticmeaning threatening thoughtcontent. McGinn is wrongon both counts.an argument meaningwould leave the Griceanunmoved.. Grice. of IllinoisPress. .then..118 on Sun. meaningscepticism.Of course.
7 mypresent and determines justifies in thepast. languageof thought this properlyonly afterwe have examined McGinn's claim that. McGinn 7 K. I meant response. at someearlier gavemyself I explicitly I maysuppose. the expressions of use. of propertiesof syntactically belongingto a 'language of thought'.althougha forthe scepticalstrategy.does Kripke reallywish to restthe be much to recommend scepticalconclusionon so contestablea premiss? we will see below that. It is thissetofdirections. that with thehypothesis as ona slate. thecrucial The issueofnormativeness. but is it not problematic? The strategy seems to depend on the assumption that thought contents are the identifiablebearers properties. The troubleis thatit seemsclear. againsta dispositional theargument episodes. Hence on associated experiential and not by factsconcerning the assumptionthat no other sort of fact is relevantto the fixationof meaning by nothing.176.It is incompatible onmymind It is engraved additions listofparticular notthefinite quus. .And althoughtheremay expressions thisview.that is. theexercise of a wordin mylanguage current employment ofthatword? in thelight ofmyearlier is correct employment concept) particular ofa thought): tothe falsity incorrectness (as opposed theideaoflinguistic here for is using thesameword weareconcerned with) (ofthekind incorrectness linguistic so in ignorance intended from that (and doing with a different originally meaning with a concept in thiswaymakesenseofemploying butwecannot ofthechange). of thought: whatdoes it meanto ask whether my to the language application of a of thought (i. i6ff).8 What kind of linguisticmistakeis envisagedhere?. a linguistic granted againstthought.But this is equivalentto assuming.The idea is thatthoughts someone may have had concerninghow he is prepared to use a certain a meaningforthatexpressiononly if their will help determine expression is presupposed.that thatI performed that And his responseto it seems clear (p.it is nothingso rich as a But we will be in a positionto appreciate hypothesis.. even it is stillimpossibleto runa Kripkemodel ofthinking.118 on Sun. This content downloaded from 168. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (if history Not by factsabout theiractual or counterfactual fixed? accountof meaningis to be believed). This setofdirections. McGinn writes: in has no clearcontent issueforKripke.. I47. Fortunately contestablepremissabout thoughtis involved. There is just no analogue The idea of mental contentcannot be threatenedby Kripke.5II Considerations TheRule-Following time. pp. 8 Op. intended it wouldjust be a different thatoriginally content from a different concept. .e. stylescepticalargument The normativity of meaning 4.still. Cit.p. But how was theirmeaning thatfigurein thosethoughts. correctinterpretation thatthe scepticalchallengehas been met withrespectto Kripke suggests.5.I5-I6.
it is an idea that is equally problematic. without intendingto introducea change of meaning by explicit stipulation. We have an accountof this normativeness whenwe have two things: (a) an ofwhat itis tomeansomething account time at a given and(b) an account ofwhat itis to meanthesame thing at different times-since(Kripkean) is normativeness a matter of meaning nowwhatone meant earlier.But although that is certainly true.it expresses a different meaning.however..In what does the normativity McGinn offers the following characterization: The notion ofnormativeness is a transtemporal Kripke wants captured notion .it to see how it could operateat thelevel of thought would indeed be difficult (thoughnot quite forthe reasonshe gives).cannotmake sense of usingthem intentions or incorrectly in the sense definedby McGinn. normativity ofnormativity. however. As it happens.p..we do not. but employingan expression in the languageof thought with a different contentfromthatoriginally whichis a rather intended. if it then expressesthe same meaningas it did earlier. This content downloaded from 168. The is thatwe do not have the sortof access to the expressions difficulty of our to us of semanticintentions in language of thoughtthat an attribution respectof themwould appear to presuppose.accordingto McGinn.. I74.9 So. It is in such facts as this that the of meaningis said to consist.'incorrect'if. correctly If McGinn's understanding ofnormativity werethe correct one. forinstance.5. So we cannot have semantic in respectof themand. then.The claim calls for a ofthenormativity somewhat moresearching articulation thesisthanwe have of meaningconsist? attempted so far.. different matter.it is also irrelevant: whatwe need to make sense of is not a concept witha different fromthatoriginally employing content intended.because theprincipal requirement by whichputative reconstructions of thatnotionare to be dispatched-the normativity requirement-has no cogent application to the language of thought. thatthe 'normativity' requirement definedby McGinn has nothingmuch to do withthe concept of meaningper se and is not the requirement that Kripke is operatingwith. It oughtto be clear. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .176. hence. expressionindependently But we have no such independentaccess to the expressionsof our language of thought.know what theylook like.You cannotintendthatsome expressionhave a certainmeaning unless you are able to referto that of its semanticproperties. Boghossian argues. We mayappreciatethispointby observing thattherequirement defined 9 Ibid. howwouldit Supposingthisweretheright understanding mentalcontent affect scepticism? McGinn says thatthe problemis thatwe cannotmakesenseofemploying a conceptwitha different content from that originally intended-it would just be a different concept.5I2 Paul A.118 on Sun. the lateruse of the expressionis 'correct'.
a whole set of normative behaviourwith that expression:namely.I am notheretrying is muchmorecomplicated to thenormativity succumb objection to stateit.the main theory would easily requirement.) Kripke'sinsight use. to thanthis. ofthe ofadequacyon theories intoa condition observation maybe converted in virtue ofmeaning: determination anyproposedcandidatefortheproperty of which an expressionhas meaning.176. conditions was to realizethatthis in warranted use. on theother.Any meaning. a relationbetweenmeaningsomething use at that time.even where these are theoriessolely of linguistic ofmeaningthatprovidedan accountofwhatspeakersmean by their theory may otherwise times howevercrazy thattheory at arbitrary expressions be would satisfyMcGinn's constraint. property meaning constituting in question. '0 notthatone should (one can havedispositions will. to use wordsincorrectly).This is not.a oftherequirement It is easyto see how.whatis thecorrect use ofthatword. a relationbetween meaningsomethingby an by it at some latertime.thus satisfying different How to explain. The answer is that the normativity McGinn outlines. dispositional use ofthat to use a wordin a certain waywhatis thecorrect off a disposition for to be disposedto use a wordin a certain wayimpliesat mostthatone word. do accounts ofmeaning whether really thequestion dispositional however. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . butmerely assesstheobjection.that my use of it is correctin applicationto certainobjects and not in applicationto others. (On the one construal. Kripke's claim that a dispositional requirement. meaningful truth-theoretic correctness consistsin true of correct use. regardless possess expressions or assertion-theoretic terms. a new The normativity ofmeaning turnsout to be. on thenormativity allegedby Kripketo founder facts determinate pass it on McGinn's reading: since thereare perfectly about what dispositionsare associated with a given expressionat a given since it is no part of Kripke's intentto deny that there time-or. in otherwords.In particular. as McGinn would have it. rather.The fact that the expressionmeans truthsabout my somethingimplies.must be such as to ground the from anyalleged ofmeaning-it oughtto be possibleto readoff 'normativity' ofa word. it expressionat one timeand meaningsomething by it at some timeand its is rather.It followsimmediately Suppose the expression things(the greenones) onlyto these 'green' applies correctly theexpression and not to those(the non-greens). requirement? founderspreciselyon the normativity theory requirementis not the thesis 5.5I 3 Considerations TheRule-Following on theoriesof by McGinn could hardlyact as a substantiveconstraint meaning. 10 As weshallsee below. that is. an expressionhas the same or a are-it is always possible to ask whether McGinn's meaning on a dispositionaltheory.on thisunderstanding itwouldseem.simply in ofmeaning ofwhether one thinks namefor thefamiliar fact that.118 on Sun.What is it then? that 'green' meansgreen.5. This content downloaded from 168.one cannotread theory might appearto failit:for. then.
judgement. arenaturally understood as theproperties ofthestates or events thatinstantiate thosemodes. Butitshouldbe quiteclearthat nothing argument on theassumption depends ofstructure: eveniftherepresentation wereto no internal possess syntax. this commitment it is also very is. natural and plausible. In other of thought contents to a language words. I suppose. This content downloaded from 168. to get tokened undercertain circumstances on a disposition constitutes. for. fixes the against public language? yes.however.For:what on of Not other of in meaning expressions thelanguage thought? thoughts. what its correctness conditions are and in virtueof what theyare determined. andno natural way to bring thenormativity requirement to bearagainst it.can. thatnothing Indeed. Therehas to be or particular.as promised. expressions possess thesamesenseas publiclanguage correct use in precisely expressions do. according hypothesis. For. anyway) include mental content within thescopeofthescepticism willhangon it. So.forfamiliar of such expresreasons.otherwise. willbe no natural way to formulate ofthought a dispositional theory content. Boghossian it aims to promote.A language so richas a language is strictly hypothesis the of thought modelis composed out of two theses:(a) thatthinking thatmeans thought that p involves tokening an item-a representation is so involved thatp.we arealso nowin a position ofthought needed.and sinceit willease exposition. wish and. we couldstillask. ofa certain itspossession Andalthough dispositional theory. thatthesceptical argument's strategy does presuppose thatcontent properties havesome sortof bearer (evenifnot a structured there necessarily one).5. And so we see thatthe sceptical argument must.hence. tokening or factsabout associatedqualitative expressions episodes. becausecorrectness cannot be reconstructed dispositionally. nothing fixes their meaning.desire.5 I4 Paul A.strictly speaking contestable. thought are the semantic of syntactically and semantically properties structured in thesceptical bearers. it neednotmatter which whose something-a state. After all. Withthisclarification to settlethe question:can Kripkedevelopthe same sortof a position ofthought as he develops meaning-sceptical argument against a language Andtheanswer is: clearly. and (b) thatthe representation whosetokening possessesa combinatorial syntactic and semantic structure.'' in placewe arefinally ofthenormativity thesis in 6.in proper Kripkean fashion. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . event. And not dispositional factsaboutthetokening conditions of of mentalese sincemeaningful sions. I shallhenceforth l Since nothing write as ifa ofthought language hypothesis weretrue. to see. of such actual Not factsabout the pain of viciousregress. contents do not figure in a mental life exceptas subtended by a particular mode belief.176. It wouldappear.118 on Sun. content. and does (in intent.
dimension sortofepistemological This content downloaded from 168.That to character. thus. as everyone knows. The defend a claim aboutwhat he previously meant bytheexpression interlocutor innocently assumeshimself to havemeant addition. In fact. he is notrestricted to thesortof knowledge thatan ordinary creature. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . notourknowledge epistemological-its topicis thepossibility of it. of For ifhis sceptic is able to showthat. I willdiscussthatbelow. For Kripke's problem appears be essentially epistemological todefend incharacter-it concerns a speaker's ability a particular meaning I not whereas the have outlined is ascription. 12 McGinn's failure how the constitutive and epistemological to notethisleads himto wonder the distinct from 'fortheepistemological claimis clearly are related.TheRule-Following Considerations 5I 5 Theconstitutive nature ofthesceptical problem 7. Wright. 149). problem constitutive.This is evident from thefact in a thesis thathisinterlocutor. abouta givenclass ofjudgements is theview Epistemological scepticism thatour actualcognitive capacities are incapableof delivering justified in that opinions concerning judgements class. anyparticular 13 butto conclude thatthere are no facts aboutmeaning.by the way. that then. 76I-2. pp. mental. in the interlocutor's arithmetical at a pointnot previously encountered practice.would be expectedto possess.thatI have statedthe sceptical problem about meaningwithoutonce mentioning Kripke's notorious sceptic. to justify his claimthathe meantaddition beingchallenged by '+'. Kripke merely the constitutive in an epistemological choosesto present problem guise. is stillunableto justify his interlocutor access to all the relevant facts.p. is permitted complete and omniscient access to all the facts about his previous behavioural. of theArgument Wright in his 'Kripke'sAccount 13 This pointis made very nicely by Crispin another however. problem to be Kripke's. evenwith thebenefit scepticism. but the theconcept sceptic challenges himtoprove that in question wasnotinfact fora singularity where is justlikeaddition.176. challenge is to explainhow anything could possessthat.Kripke's sceptic is notafter ofthatsort. theproblem is not-not evenin Pace manyofKripke's readers. discerns I984. quaddition except quaddition.proceedsby inviting his interlocutor '+'. aspectsof Kripke'sdiscussion metaphysical claim'(op. the two problems are the same. Language'.completely of a constitutive What it is suited for is the promotion scepticism. then. and physical history. ofPhilosophy. Notice. Havinga meaning is essentially a matter of possessing a correctness And the sceptical condition. ofmeaning. thatwouldleaveus no choice claimaboutwhathe meant.5.'2 Kripke'ssceptical to promoting unsuited an epistemological scenario is. Against Private Journal to thesceptical problem.118 on Sun. I havedescribed thesceptical couldnot It mayseem.however.. cit. equippedwithordinary cognitive powers.
G. howI shallpresent them.16 That. setting The constitutive problem aboutmeaning-how couldthere so much as be a correctness condition-can be stated quiteforcefully without theactualprovision of a convincing globalreinterpretation of a person's words.exploring the possibility is tantamount to thepossibility ofrule-following. mentalexpressions-that theycome to have correctness conditions as a result of peoplefollowing rulesin respect of them. on theone hand.on theother. forged? in an important sense. oughtnot to be any residualtemptation to thinkthatepistemological a critical In anycase.14But. Kripkeis not interested of correctness he is interested in thepossibility conditions.5. it and yetbelieve to havean epistemological dimension.precisely.and the offollowing a rule. I do notwishtoargue aboutthis It doesseemtomethat. theconsiderations on behalf ofthesceptical to epistemoloconclusion appeartoowenothing gicalconstraints and can be stated their without is help. 772-5. According to Crispin Wright. 1984. concept I shallarguethat. exception This content downloaded from 168. Bakerand P.known non-inferentially.5I6 Paul A. The pointis thatthe a rule-as opposed to that of merely ordinary conceptof following 14 For example. and hence that 'the rulefollowing considerations' is. cit. at length. butacceptable to it are to answers to an epistemic be subject constraint.pp.at leaston theordinary a understanding itcannot be true ofall expressions-in rule. Many writers seemto assumethatthe connection is straightforward. considerations areplaying roleinKripke's argument. McGinn. The 'rule-following' considerations? 8. 409-I0. 16 Withone relatively minor to be notedbelow..op. the perception thatthisaffects the force of thesceptical problem aboutmeaning is a result oftaking thedialogic tooseriously.hence.See his 'Against Kripkean Tennant Scepticism'. once we havecorrected for thedistortions induced there bythedialogic setting. Hacker. It wouldnotbe inappropriate towonder at this what all this hasto point do withthe topicof rule-following? is the connection Where.But hereagain. 15 See op. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .I think. pp. is essentially constitutive in character. cit. Expressions cometohave correctness conditions as a result of peoplefollowing rulesin respect of of correctness them.118 on Sun. Neil Tennant Synthese.pp.176. sionon offer. 140-50.at leastin one'sowncase. Boghossian part-epistemological scepticism about meaning. of course. itcannot be true of particular. he adduces intention whatever Kripkemayhavehad. the answeris 'nowhere'. maywellbe right aboutthis. ofcorrectness conditions that 5 The problem maybe.. between theconcepts ofmeaning and content. has complained that a convincing Kripke's sceptic doesnotultimately bent-rule supply of reinterpretation his interlocutor's words. exploring oftheconcept offollowing But.'On Misunderstanding Wittgenstein: Kripke'sPrivate LanguageArgument'.anyway. for in the merepossibility example. forthcoming.one mayagreethat theproblem is constitutive in character. as reasoning they maybe represented as follows. strictly a misnomer forthediscusspeaking.
and to andincorrect application there is sucha thing as thecorrect that I there is truth andfalsity.Whateverthis is.Correctly at of chessmen of theconfiguration willdependbothon apprehension instance. 281-2. as a resultof anyonefollowing What Kripke's discussion is concerned with is the possibility of so long as we keep thatclearlyin mind.517 Considerations TheRule-Following act: it involves the to one is the concept of an intentional conforming attemptto bring one's behaviourin line with the dictatesof intentional conception some graspedrule. ofthose apprehended in thelight what. the productionof a termfrommere noise. it is a conceptthatpresupposes sequently. further supply conditions p. Having established to his satisfaction of expressing a certainmeaning.118 on Sun. Since it makesessential not one thatcan. ofcorrect application. are simply Truthconditions instances.conan act among whose causal antecendents theidea ofa correctness condition. (and the that configuration ofwhether and on a knowledge ofthemove. situation and to know presented for in thecourse ofa gameofchess. have conditions mental expressions themselves acquire meaning then. 18 Simon conditions. On pain ofregress.5. 255. on Chomsky. thetime castling at thatpoint. itis natural applying a ruletoa newcasewill. I intend no particular theoretical implications bytalking ofa term.Kripke turnsto askinghow this property 1 and the CentralProjectof Considerations Rule-Following 'Wittgenstein's CrispinWright: I989.17 courseof thegame)permits previous a rule is the conceptof conceptof following the ordinary As such.talkof 'rule-following' correctness. George. Correctly of the features relevant both to apprehend a double success:it is necessary features. Basil Blackwell. of therebeingcorrectness shall talkindifferently and of theirobeyingprinciplesof application.however. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 'The Individual Blackburn. whichin turnmakesessential attitude.176. in fullgenerality. pp. castling willfit orfailtofit therule. in Reflections Linguistics'. it rule-governed. ed. than tosaythat is no more there is sucha thing saythat of wordsbeing and incorrectness.Synthese. Theoretical II My onlydisagreeI984. help explainit. A. CrispinWrighthas decribedthis intuitive veryclearly: involve typically to think. Strikes Back'.'8 THE SCEPTICAL SOLUTION A non-factualist of meaning conception that no word could have the 9.Oxford. lie contentful mentalstates. withtruth conditions of correctness its identification mentwiththispassageconcerns or justification conditions proof one speciesof a correctness condition.it cannotbe truethatmentalexpressions rules in respectof them. playwiththe idea of a propositional in thissense presupposesthat rule-following play withthe idea of content. This content downloaded from 168. and turns is the factthatdistinguishes utteranceinto assertion into the makingof judgment.Simon Blackburnhas capturedthis perspective The topic is ofrules here. verywell: is harmless.
5. then.which conservesthe scepticalthesisthatthereare no factsforsuch nevertheless attributions to answerto. The troubleis thatwe would ordinarily takea remark that therecould not be any such thingas the factthatI mean something by the ' + ' sign.The question is urgent.I986. to which he may belong'. Andit is notclearwhat it is to mean.118 on Sun. 77-8. to entail that thereis nothingI could mean by the use of that across all signs and all people. is incoherent. It is hardto assessthis. no suchconclusion assertions Allthat follows. theideaofa solitary 1985. Thought andContext. This content downloaded from 168.176. It is allegedto have thefollowing startling consequence:theidea ofa language whose meanings are constitutedsolely out of an individual's considered'completelyin isolationfromany wider speaker's properties. The second consists in a description of the assertibility conditionsformeaning-attributing assertibility sentences. Wright. Language?'. of our ordinary What is called for.if notthat. Applied quite generally.20 correspond' 19 Following we maycall thistheconcept Goldfarb. Pettit and J. Surelyit cannotmean: a languageto whose predicates no twopeoplecould attach thesamedescriptive conditions. the claim sign. by that of conditions. to be not merelyshockingbut paradoxibecause the conclusionthreatens to theeffect cal. The adjustmentrecommendedin the firstpart is supposed to help because if we supposethatfactsor truth conditions are of the essenceof meaningful it willfollow from theskeptical conclusion assertion. Wittgenstein ofPhilosophy. . thatassertions that anyone are meaningless.McDowell. pp. forthelatter essentially involves theidea ofnecessary to another.'9 community The scepticalsolutionhas two partsthatare usefully distinguished.. Boghossian conclusion is to be accommodated. of a 'solitary language'. is needed suggested to legitimize assertions thatsomeonemeanssomething is thattherebe roughly circumstances underwhichtheyare legitimately specifiable assertible.258-6o Suggest a Cogent Argument Against Private inSubject. is a rehabilitation practice of attributing content to our thoughtsand utterances.in his view.primafacie anyway. . Clarendon 20 K. ed. becomes the seeminglyparadoxical and self-refuting thesis that no one could mean anything by theiruse of linguistic expressions. and that the gameof asserting themhas a role in our lives.Oxford. A scepticism about meaningfactswould appear to be. Press. in our intuitivepicture of sentence meaning. in the course of which it is argued that it is essential to such sentences that their conditionsadvertto the actions or dispositionsof a commuassertibility nity. The firstconsists in the suggestion that we replace the notion of truth conditions. See his 'Kripkeon on Rules'. That is whatthe 'sceptical solution'is designed to do. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 'Does Philosophical Investigations I. P. in other words.an unstableposition. evermeansanything On theother hand. unintelligibility becauseit is hardto knowhow to interpret 'necessary unintelligibility'.No supposition that'facts to thoseassertions is needed.518 Paul A.Sustainingit requiresshowingthatwhat it asserts does not ultimately lapse into a formof pragmaticincoherence. Goldfarb goeson to saythat Journal is moregeneral language thanthatof a Wittgensteinian 'private language'.For usefuldiscussion see C.if we applyto these thetests .
thisis as far [I]fwe confine ourselves to looking which we can saythat. orvice-versa . use of a termand the community's.thiswould appear to notionsof errorand be the onlyway to give substanceto the correlative no one considered wholly in isolation fromother speakers correctness.a global non-factualism: termsand significance is construedquite generallyin assertion-theoretic possessed no invidiousdistinction is drawnbetweenthesortofsignificance by meaning-attributing sentencesand thatpossessed by sentencesof other types. This content downloaded from 168.176.however. Kripke is veryclear about the limited.. 88.and can only be accommodatedif we widen our gaze and take and betweenour imaginedrule-follower intoconsideration the interaction Were we to do so. Under tosay'125'. betweena given speaker'spropensities the agreement. in effect.we could a linguisticcommunity.Following 21 K.. the something like. Kripke continues. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .at least in his 'official' are madeand ofmeaning attributions We haveto see underwhatcircumstances exhortawhatroletheseattributions Wittgenstein's playin ourlives. according to Kripke.5. Let us turn now to an assessmentof the various central aspects of Kripke's argument. .118 on Sun.. however.21 virtue ofwhich of error. introduceassertibility conditionsforjudgementsabout errorin termsof in the or lack of it.5 Considerations TheRule-Following 9 sentence The proposed account is..so long as a speakeris consideredin conditionsto judgementsto the isolationwe can assign no assertibility effect that he has misapplieda symbolin his repertoire: at oneperson as we cango alone. language The argument againstsolitary io. could be said to mean anything. heshould have alonecan say at his mindor behavior can he be wrong? No one else by looking ifhe does notaccordwithhis ownintention'. p.'He is wrong are no facts abouthimin argument was thatthere wholepointof theskeptical he accords withhis intentions or not. fromthe observationthat. evenifhe inclines under .is essentialto our ordinary The possibility concept of meaning. Since. The argument against 'solitary language' emerges.. . Thereareno circumstances what circumstances said'5'. III ARGUMENT LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT OF THE SOLITARY AGAINST and solitary accounts Constitutive language i i. natureof the whollydescriptive explicationsof the view: scepticalsolution. And so a solitary language is impossible.
For how.. let us ask whether it is in facttruethat.176. rather ought we will findout whatcircumstances actually license suchassertions and what rolethislicense actually to plays. assertion conditions oughtto be and.It would appear to followfromthis.we ought to be puzzled about how the scepticalsolutionis goingto delivera conclusionagainstsolitary language of the requisite modal force: namely. And thiswould be a lot less thanthe resultwe were promised:namely.however.on pain of falling preyto the accepted scepticalconsiderations. in the absence of a conceptionof the truth conditions ofmeaningattributing sentences.But without thebenefit of such an account there is no scope for a more ambitious project: a descriptively adequate account of the actual assertionconditionsforsuch sentencesis the most one may cogentlyaim for. the mostthatwould licensesayingis thatourlanguageis not solitary. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .5. pp.22 problem. (That is whythe solutionon has to be sceptical:it has alreadybeen conceded thatnothingcould offer cogentlyamount to the fact that a meaning sentencereports).thatthe scepticalsolutioncan do no morethanrecordthe conditions underwhichspeakersin factconsiderthe attributionof a certain concept warrantedand the endorsementof a particular responseappropriate.The Wittgensteinian exhortation 'not to thinkbut to look' is not merely(as it may be) good advice.we mightbe able to reasona prioriabout whattheir conditions. to revise the forassertion conditions actuallyacceptedforthem.520 Paul A. hence. This content downloaded from 168. Communal assertibility conditions? thisworry I 2. Indeedsuchconditions wouldconstitute to the a 'straight' solution skeptical and havebeenrejected. It is important to see that the counselled modesty-we will not reason a prioriabout the role such statements ought to play-is compulsory.For even ifit weretruethatour actualassertibility conditions for sentencesadvertto the dispositions meaning-attributing of a community.we will not reasona priori about the role such statements to play. we cannot introducesubstantive 22 K. the modestyit counsels is enforcedby the factthat truthconditionsforthese sentences has been jettisoned. could theprojectofproviding an account of their assertion conditionsaspire to anythingmore than descriptive adequacy? Were we equipped with an account of theirtruth of course. that there could not be such a language. Boghossian tionnot to think but to look. If this is correct. Putting to one side. The conditionsmay not be understoodto providethe content(or assertibility truthconditions)of the meaning-attributing sentences.It is important realizethatwe are not looking and sufficient fornecessary conditions (truth for following a rule.118 on Sun. thatany possible language has to be communal. potentially. or an analysisof what such rule-following conditions) 'consists in'. if we accept the sceptical conclusion.however. 86-7.
thispointis derived. as Kripke himselfsays..24 It can hardlybe objected that of the of 'sum' is being presupposedin the statement the interpretation solutionto condition.. forthescepticalsolutionis not meantto be a straight the problem about meaning. of course.26 runs as folaccount of meaning-attributions Kripke's communitarian lows: Jones's to meanaddition by 'plus' onlyifhe judgesthat SmithwilljudgeJones togive..but have actuallydone so. in a non-standard in the description terms (such as 'agreement') applyvarious unless solution toWittgenstein's be an objection way.But how. dispositions not only can we introducesuch conditions. in fendingoffa condisimilarimaginedobjectionto his own account of the assertibility tions: in our lives of a certain the utility is doingis describing WhatWittgenstein As in the in ourownlanguage. As a matter conditions Kripke outlines? thecommunalassertibility just the opposite seems true.25 from anyuse of language he is to be prohibited factual Nor is thereany problemin the assumptionthatit is a genuinely matterwhat any two numbers sum to. This cannot 'quus-like' at all.if the argument for(A) advertsto no one otherthanthe languageis to be sustained..op cit.is (A) to be ruledout.pp.op.. thereappears to be nothingin the scepticalconclusionthatwill rule it out. cit. and manyothersuch factors.23 Consider the following: to assertof Jones thathe means additionby '+'.118 on Sun..on the contrary. Could it perphapsbe arguedthat(A) is permissible of fact. as Kripke himselfrepeatedly emphasizes. givethisdescription he must Necessarily practise. I85-7.and theargument mathematical language preserved? againstsolitary though parasiticon I3. p. he is inclined with those toparticular addition agree answers problems 23 24 26 op. cit.quite rough:roomhas to of our practice. in another form oflifemight a participant case ofanysuchuse ofourlanguage.521 Considerations TheRule-Following thatdo not advertto the conditionsformeaning-attributions assertibility that of a community of speakers?It appears.then. I46. arithmetical (A) is. of course. the sceptical argumentdoes not threatenthe existence of facts.. bothin Goldfarb.176. from This is argued This content downloaded from 168. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .5. solitary individual. is canvassed This sortofrejoinder 25 K. ance attaching may be safelyignoredforthe purposeof raisingthe following refinements of criticalquestion:what in the scepticalconclusionrules out attributions against form(A)? It had betterrule themout.the greaterimportbe made forthe importance But all these to simple cases. Ibid. which in McGinn. (A) It is warranted provided he has responded with the sum in reply to most queries posed thus far...But as Goldfarbpointsout. As a description of systematic deviations.and in McGinn.
I willjudgethat means addition According then. thatis calledfor. Andthiswouldappearto showthat. It wouldappear.. ofthecommunitaris ianconditions strongly on theacceptability ofthesolitary parasitic ones. exposesthefactthatKripke's communitarian on thesolitary conditions are parasitic and nottheother conditions. providedhe agreeswithmy responses to arithmetical queries. however. As a roughdescription of our practice. I conclude that thesceptical solution does notyielda convincing argument against solitary language. provided he has responded withthesumin reply to mostarithmetical queries posedthusfar. thepresent will deviation justify Smith that hehaslapsed.under conditions I hadgoodreason to where believethatI had becomeproneto making arithmetical mistakes-perhapsowing to intoxication or senility or whatever-to on agreement insist for with with oftheconcept me as a precondition crediting Jones mastery ofaddition.176. at a minimum.522 Paul A. and thatthe basic assertion I condition acceptis just(A): It is warranted to assertof Jonesthathe meansadditionby '+'. Kripke's communitarian account to read: mustbe modified to assert ofJones (B) It is warranted thathe meansaddition by '+'. The argument against wassupposed solitary language toflow from the of sentence adjustedunderstanding significance forced by the sceptical conclusion. It wouldbe absurd for me. But thismodification wouldseemimmediately toreveal that thereference to 'my own responses' is idle. The sceptical conclusion hasitthat itcannot literally be true of 2 K.27 to thisaccount. This content downloaded from 168. p. IRREALIST CONCEPTIONS IV OF MEANING I4. will that hedoesnot mean addition EvenifJones judge didmean itin by'plus'. injudging the past. I have beena reliablecomputer underconditions where of sums. and manyimportant refinements One of therefinements aside. and becauseouractualassertibilityconditions formeaning ascriptions appearnotto be communitarian.118 on Sun. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .5. way round. in other that theacceptability words.thisseemsacceptable enough. Boghossian IfJones inagreement with consistently fails togive responses Smith Smith's. In sum:bothbecauseitis difficult togenerate (impossible?) constitutive results outofnon-constitutive accounts. 9I. Jones by 'plus' only ifJones uses'plus'enough in thesamewayI am inclined times to use it. and nottheother wayaround.
Philosophical Review. forsuch a Rightand Wrong. perhaps.176.Ethics:Inventing London.29 sentences namelymeaning-attributing 28 See JohnMackie. I98I . We should think of it.Considerations 523 TheRule-Following any symbolthatit expressesa particular meaning:thereis no appropriate factfora meaning-attributing sentenceto report.5.it is to offer conceptionof such talk.as opposed to an error theory. thatno sentencewhatever possesses a meaning. of nonfirst blush. declarative sentencesto possess truthconditions. to begin with. rather.thatis. conception see his 'Eliminative has beenadvocated ofmeaning by Paul Churchland. 29 An error conception is elaborated ofPhilosophy. in that the solelyto the recommended non-factualism is global.28 be understoodto consist Could not the moralof the scepticalargument in an errorconceptionof meaning discourse?It could not.The scepticalsolution's recommendation is that we blunt the forceof this result by refusingto thinkof sentencesignificance in termsof possession of truthconditions. and defended This content downloaded from 168. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .atomic) sentences.the ontological discoveryis taken to exhibit merely-the systematic falsityof the region's (positive.is of doubtfulcoherence.the most conservative of being a witchis not to adopt a non-factualist nothinghas the property an error conceptionof witchtalk. reactionto the news that Semantically speaking.a sentencecannotbe false unless it is meaningful thisin turnimpliesthat(i) cannotbe true:forwhat (i) says is thatsome sentences are false.in two possiblerespects. Journal Materialism AprilI990. other ways of accommodatingthe sceptical conclusion? at leastat The solutionon offer is bound to strike one as an overreaction.An error conception of a given region of discourse conserves the region's semantical appearances predicates are still understood to express properties. or a capacity to state facts.The view in question would consistin the claim thatall meaning-attributions are false: (i) For any S: FS means thatpl is false. ofmoraldiscourse. This argument and thePropositional Attitudes'.in contrast regions.in terms of possession of assertibility conditions. forthcoming in my'The Statusof Content'. for an error with errorconceptionsof other conceptionof such discourse.in thatit opts fora form factualism.118 on Sun.ratherthanrestricted region of discourse meaning talk that is directly affectedby the scepticalresultit seeks to accommodate. Penguin.Since. and second. But is this solution forced? Are there not. of the truth But the disquotationalproperties predicateguaranteethat(i) entails (2) For any S: [Si has no meaning. however. (i) implies.First.I977.
thatis. (4) For any S: rS[ is not truthconditional.D. at leastsomeregions of language? Kripkedoes notsay. non-factualism.in PartI of myPh.118 on Sun.But it maybe thathe glimpsed thatthe oftheprojectivism globalcharacter is in fact forcedin thepresent case. The canonical formulation view-and theone that is Kripkehimself declarative sentence favours-hasit thatsometargeted not genuinely A non-factualism truth-conditional. onlyif S has truth-condition p. consists. This content downloaded from 168. anyway) a function ofits a non-factualism meaning. in thisrespect.524 Paul A. the projectivism recommended by the solution is intended to applyglobally: it is notconfined to sceptical solely sentences. p: rS meansthat As I noted above. about meaning will enjoina non-factualism abouttruth-conditions: what truth-condition S possesses couldhardly be a ifthat in virtue ofwhich factual matter it has a particular truth-condition is notitself a factual And so we haveit that(3) entails: matter. (5) For all S. pl is nottruth-conditional.pp. a fascinating consequenceof a non-factualism about that itentails a global meaning. and henceno suchfact. Content and Rules'. cit. a non-factualism aboutmeaning from distinguishes itself a similar thesis 30 Somewhat different are givenforthisbothin Crispin arguments Wright's 'Kripke'sAccount'.176.30 For consider a non-factualism aboutmeaning-the solely viewthat. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . It is. Boghossian So it appearsthatKripkewas right to avoid an error of conception fare any meaningdiscourse. and since(5) has it that rS has truthcondition it follows pl is never that simply true. Dissertation Essayson Meaning and Belief.as seemsnatural. in theviewthat pl is nottruth-conditional. a view?Why does he not suggest Whydoes Kripkeadopt so extreme that we abandon a truth-conditional modelfor merely semantic discourse. no meaning-attributing sentence canbe truth-conditional. (3) For anyS. however.. 769-70 and in my 'Meaning. about meaning. I986. Since thetruth-condition ofanysentence S is (in part. then. Ioc.5. (4) For anyS: rSi is nottruth-conditional justas predicted. Princeton. meaning-attributing Thus.since. p: rS has truth-condition of the disquotational of the truth However. since there is no suchproperty as a word'smeaning something.courtesy properties a sentence oftheformrS has truth-condition pl is trueifand predicate. while for oftherest preserving it.But does his non-factualist conception better? ofa non-factualist I5. ifno other.
thesisabout. cit. Truthand Logi'c.But whatis wrongwiththat?If thereis an instability one.Dover.31 withWright'ssuggestionthattheremust be It is hard not to sympathize withinthescope thesisthatis itself something unstableabout a projectivist clear to me in But it is also not entirely it recommends.to a failureto analyze sentencescorrectly . p. The pointthatneeds to be keptin focusis thatthesentenceof whichtruth sentence.I952. andnon-fact-stating class. loc. J.a global projectivism whatthe instability thatno sentencepossesses a truth to admitthatit is no morethanassertible here..however. merelythe concept of a device for semantic ascent. There are philosophicalmistakes. 770.. The traditional real . of theprojectivism would have consists. I have developed the argumentfor this in some detail elsewhere.it is condition.. 32 In 'The Status 3" Ibid.For this declarative conditionsare being denied is a significant of which the in of truth terms that the concept factimmediately implies thatA. J. and not the concept of some genuineproperty some 'real relation' thata sentence(or thought)may enjoy.but not because of its global character..118 on Sun. In fact. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . not a transparent about meaningis i6. the good: Consider a non-factualist (7) All sentencesof the form rx is goodl are not truth-conditional. oftheskeptical oftheconclusion statement be projective.however exactly quiteglobally.32here I have space only to sketchits outlines.176. For on a of truth.I do believe thata non-factualism Rather.33 thattheword'truth' has shown ouranalysis If the concept of truthwere.525 Considerations TheRule-Following about any othersubject matter.CrispinWrighthas suggestedthatit also problematic: rendersit irremediably views couldbe applied that projectivist tosuppose itis coherent that itis doubtful between fact-stating be drawn thedistinction For. then non-factualismis nowhere a coherent option. [but] seemsto standforsomething in which theword'truth' sentences does notstandforanything.a sentencewill be truth-conditional understanding deflationary of Content'. .To be sure. .. say.Ayer. This content downloaded from 168.. 89.New York. like most of truth conception . 33~ A. concept be deflationary is cannot the thesis framed non-factualist follows: as described Ayersuccinctly as a 'real quality'or a 'real relation'is due. to say that p is true is simply a way of assertingp.. Language. P. as Ayer claims in this passage.the reasonshave unstable. for argument. a non-factualist orderto frame suppose about truth as a result of accepting a non-factualismabout meaning. to do with the clash between what you have to suppose about truthin and whatyou have to thesisabout anything.a fortheformer failto qualify statements thatcertain wayof a discovery to is notitself instance. ittocomeby want willpresumably theprojectivist discourse. .5.
It does not matter if P is subjective or otherwise dependent upon our responses. eligibility willnotbe certified purely bythefact that a sentence is declarative and significant.And thisexposesthecontradiction we havebeenstalking: a nonfactualism aboutmeaning boththattruth is robust and thatit is implies not. declarative sentence. there ofthematter couldfailtobe a fact aboutwhether an object hasP. language-independent property. declarative failstc. Irrealist of otnerdomainsmay not be particularly conceptions or plausible. thata non-factualism about any subjectmatter presupposes a conception of truthricherthan the deflationary: it is to holding committed thatthe predicate 'true' standsforsome sortof language-independent forwhich property. theory. Boghossian provided onlythatit is apt forsemantic ascent. cit. therefore.526 Paul A. in form. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . I7 It is hard to do justice to theissuesinvolved within theconfines ofthe I do hope. solution. of sometargeted.118 on Sun. of theclaimis boundto arousesuspiThe uncompromising strength cion. willhaveto be possessed of robust truth-conditions. but they are notincoherent. It follows. Not surprisingly theensuing result is unstable.as I shallhenceforth put it.robust. presuppose that an error ornon-factualist directed conception at ourtalkofmeaning precisely itself endsup denying. In particular. But it is constitutive ofa non-factualist thesis precisely thatit denies. But we sawearlier-see(5) above-thata non-factualist thesis aboutmeaning impliesthat judgements about a sentence'struthcannot be factual: a certain whether is true cannot sentence be a factual ifitsmeaning matter is not. judgements aboutit willhaveto be factual. declarative that sentence.It in thefact consists error that and non-factualist theories aboutany subject matter claims certain abouttruth andtruth-conditions. So long as it is a genuine.5.176.however. for meaning. But. by Churchland. significant.now. This content downloaded from 168. 34 Again. So we haveitthat thesis truth that anynon-factualist presupposes is. itis truth-conditional.possesstruth-conditions. therewill be no understanding its claim that a significant sentence. then abouta sentence's judgements truth valuemust themselves be factual.and it will be apt for semantic ascent provided onlythat it is a significant. If P is somegenuinely robust thenit is hardto see how property. Otherwise. present essay.noticethatjudgements about an objectpossessesa robustproperty whether could hardly fail to be factual. instance. appealing Whyshouldmatters standdifferently withmeaning discourse? The source oftheasymmetry is actually notthat hardto track down. loc.34 thatthe preceding discussion has in sowing succeeded somedoubtsaboutthecogency of irrealist conceptions of meaning-whether in the formof a non-factualism about as in thesceptical or an error as suggested.fora moredetailed treatment see 'The Statusof Content'. if truth is a robust property.
In thispartI shallexamine the secondkindand will not discussthemin any detailhere. Whatcouldit be? V REDUCTIVE ACCOUNTS OF MEANING ofgrounds. therefore. naturalistic all theavailable That it neglects to consider on an unargued reductionism. entails talkaboutmeaning then. the on a number has beenfaulted argument i8.in all essentialrespects. of course. Warren of normativity This restson themisunderstanding Goldfarb charges that Kripke neglectsto consider causal/informational to a failure This derivesfrom of meaning. with Something lead us to it.an account thatis. I3. argument thatthe sceptical The final concedes andproperties.527 Considerations TheRule-Following thatthe presupposes thesisaboutany subjectmatter Thus. forexample.thatI see no meritto objectionsof thatKripkeignoresvariousviable thatI have seen to theeffect suggestions reduction bases formeaningfactsseem to me to reston misunderstanding. facts. 36 See Goldfarb.Thus.op. if theseconsiderations way appears tobe no stable there be sustained: conclusion cannot sceptical about meaning.176.theywould show thatthe are correct. of accommodating the claim thatthereare no truths to theargument that appeared mustbe wrong.n. I68-74.pp. I should say at the outset. cit. objection tonaturalistic facts restriction is but chargesthat the scepticalargument of naturalism. entails thedenialofthatpresupposiat ourtalkaboutmeaning precisely a presupposes matter aboutanysubject tion. the failure ofmeaning. Colin McGinn.however. robust conception thedenialofthatpresupposition.also.. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Capacities.36 accountsof the determination of meaningis simplyone see that. cit. op. construal anti-reductionist against an appropriately powerless the andin thenext thenaturalistic objections.a non-factualism precisely at our directed But a non-factualism oftruth. are distinctfrom constraint.118 on Sun.5. McGinn explains.35 dispositionsand are bettersuited to meet the normativity outlinedabove. claims that Kripke neglectsto considerthe that possession of a concept mightconsist in possession of a possibility certainsort of capacity. That itsconclusion depends claim they issuefrom a naturalistic perspective: The first twoobjections even granted a failsto establish its thesis.. an error But an errorthesis directed targetsentencesare truth-conditional. The sceptical being: mostimportant of meaning do not dispositional accounts against That its arguments work.a causal theory of meaning. This content downloaded from 168.All the anti-reductionist suggestion. theory species of a dispositional 3 See McGinn.
118 on Sun. The singlemostimportant strandin the scepticalargument consistsin the considerations against dispositionaltheoriesof meaning. Minneapolis. vol.I987. I977. andtheFlowofInformation.2.includinghorsesso faraway and so farin the past thatit would be nonsense to suppose I could ever get into causal contactwith them. I986.I98I. forPsychology'. D. Kripke argues. Cambridge. I977. It is unfortunate the sceptical obscured in Kripke's discussion. Boghossian thatthis connectionis extensively discussed by Kripke. 'Advertisement for a Semantics Journal Role'. For conceptual roletheories see: H. Dretske.This has given rise to the impressionthat his discussion of dispositionalism does not covercausal theories.It would be hard to exaggeratethe importanceof such theories for contemporary philosophyof mind and semantics:as I have just indicated. Psychosemantics.But the impression is misleading. The root formof an information-style dispositionaltheoryis this: I am disposed My mentalsymbol'horse' expresseswhateverproperty to apply it to.'Towardsa Causal Theoryof Linguistic Representation'.Otherwise. This content downloaded from 168.if it is indeed the property horse thatI am disposed to applythetermto.but theissues thatariseare generaland applyto anydispositional theorywhatever. 'Logic. the most influentialcontemporary theories of content-determination 'informational' theories and 'conceptual-role' theories are both forms of a for dispositionalaccount. Midwest Studiesin Philosophy.37In my discussionI shall tend to concentrate. the sake of concreteness. Dispositions and meaning: finitude 19. Ned Block.Because Kripke illustrates problem throughthe use of an arithmetical example. whatis to say thatmy dispositionis not a dispositionto or some such?But no one can apply the termto the property nearbvhorse.in effect. underrole versionsof a dispositionalaccount standably.ratherthan on causal/informational versions.to focus on conceptual of meaning.Io. Knowledge Cambridge.5. Meaning andConceptual ofPhilosophy. 37For correlational theories see: F. in what my dispositions always be a serious indeterminacy are. For. MIT Press. Field. Jerry University Fodor.For the root form of a causal/informational theorymay be given by the followingbasic formula: 0 means (property) P by predicate S iff (it is a counterfactual supporting generalization that) 0 is disposed to apply S to P. to suggestingthat therewill Kripke's firstobjection amounts. thus renderingdispositional propertiesan inappropriatereduction base for meaningproperties. thenI should be disposed to apply it to all horses. Minneapolis. on informational of thecontentofmental theories symbols.528 Paul A. Midwest Studies in Philosophy. of MinnesotaPress. MIT Press. vol. he tends. ofMinnesota University Press. Stampe. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .176.
if C. S would do A to S the dispositionto do A in C. op. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . inversely pressure I a to if were modified as to survive so all of whatwould be true trip Alpha Centauri. p. The argument does not convince.5. ofKripkeon thisscoresee Blackburn. criticism For a related This content downloaded from 168.if I were to survivesuch a trip.but if were their volume would vary know there ideal gases.. I5 (manuscript). can be used to attribute one can hardlycredit a tortoisewith the abilityto overtakea hare. See 'A Theory Part II. For example. on no one claim to know the them.Considerations 529 TheRule-Following have a disposition to call all horses 'horse'. by out thatifconditionswereideal forthe tortoise if. as JerryFodor has pointed out. the counterfactual If I were now to go to Alpha Centauri.39 the conditionsover be true if molecules and containersactuallysatisfied that does not preventus from which the ideal gas laws are defined.. definedover ideal conditionsunless one knows acceptinga generalization would be true if the ideal conditions exactly which counterfactuals obtained.no one can claim to knowall of whatwould unacceptable. pointing 38 39 40 K. cit.176. however. on the conditions.I would call the horses there'horse'. can with Similarly.38 speculation to science thatone can have no reason for If the pointis supposed to be.40 Still. contingent presence of ideal conditions. for no one can have a dispositionwithrespectto inaccessibleobjects. counterfactual If conditionswere ideal.I probablywould not be in anypositionto call anything by any name. Surely such with extra wouldhappenifmybrainwerestuffed shouldbe left fiction writers and futurologists.forI would probablydie before I got there.forexample. then. it seems completely For example. of the form. All dispositionalproperties their exercise the holding of the relevant counterfactualtruth is on theabsence ofinterfering or equivalently. p. 27.And we are certainly trouble is that not every true The we do have infinitary dispositions. then.But that by itselfneed not pose an insuperableobstacle to are such that ascribingthe dispositionto me.118 on Sun.If I werenow to go to Alpha Centauri.And it certainlyseems conceivable that a willrenderthecounterfacsuitableidealizationofmybiologicalproperties tual about my behaviouron Alpha Centauritrue. claimingto that. . is false. of Content'.Of course.I would call the horses there 'horse'.it is anotherto in no positionnow to show that provethethesistrue.Kripke considerssuch a responseand complains: in this? How in theworldcan I tellwhat But howcan we haveanyconfidence brainmatter? .but that need not preventus fromclaimingto know that. it is one thingto dispel an objection to a thesis.
41 K.and also obviously. I willanswer 'I25'. Dispositions and meaning: normativity Few aspects of Kripke's argument have been more widelymisunderstood than his discussion of the 'normativity'of meaning and his associated criticismof dispositionaltheories. The point is notthat. of course. This much. addition by + '.176. factors disturbing may lead me notto be disposed to respond as I should. notdescriptive. The fact that'horse' means horse impliesthat'horse' is correctly applied to all and onlyhorses:the notionof the extensionof an expressionjust is the notion of what it is correctto apply the expressionto. p. But I thinkit is fairto say that the burden of proofherelies squarelyon Kripke's shoulders:it is up to him to show that the relevantidealizationswould be of the impermissible And this variety.530 Paul A.however.as a matter of fact.it is not to say descriptive that. ifI intend butthat.only certainidealizationsare permissible.4' The fact that I mean somethingby an expression. I havenotactedin accordance withmyintentions.5.because we cannot be completely confident thatthe idealized counterfactuals needed to support such ascriptionsare licit. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . finiteness ofmycapacity.Kripke seems to think.This is unsurprising given the difficulty and delicacyof the issues involved. butifso.we do not now knowwhichidealizationsthoseare. 37- This content downloaded from 168.that these observations by themselves ought to be enough to show thatno dispositional theory of meaning can work.we cannotbe completely confident that ascriptions of infinitary dispositions are acceptable.118 on Sun.is incontestable. toaccord with of' + '. truths about how I ought truths about how it would be correct forme to use it. SupposeI do meanaddition ofthis by' + '.Kripke says. implies to use thatexpression. The relation ofmeaning and intention to future actionis normative.. In the absence of such an account. Obviously. whichis normative. The set of permissible counterfactuals is constrained by criteria of whichwe currently lack a systematic account. he has not done. 'I 25'.In whatsense is meaning a normative notion?Kripke writes: 20. In particular. But this is not the rightaccountof the relation.of course. It is also truethatto say that a given expressionhas a given extensionis not to make any sort of simple remark about it. Boghossian it weremuch biggerand faster-thenit would overtake it. Whatis therelation tothe supposition question howI willrespond to theproblem '68 + 57'?The dispositionalist a gives ofthis if' + ' meant account relation: I willanswer descriptive then addition. not ifI meant descriptive. I should mypastmeaning answer 'I25'.the expressionwillbe applied onlyto thosethings which are in its extension. Computational and other error. And here matters are not so straightforward.
Ned Block has written treatment one that rolesemantics] theorists. I prefer actually what to say .of identifying actual dispositionswith respectto that expression. this is a dispositionto make a mistake.53I Considerations TheRule-Following above: theory mentioned Let us beginwiththe verycrude dispositional I am disposed to apply it to...I nights-and certaincows sufficiently to call those cows 'horse' too. then.that is. This content downloaded from 168. can hope to succeed..The first by it. op. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . disposed to use it. am disposed. But thisleads to the unacceptableconclusionthat'horse' does not express horseor cow. I am disposed to am disposed to apply the expressionto.Suppose I mean horse I have a dispositionto call horses 'horse'. 63I. but it is surprisinghow little they are appreciated. hopeless theory. dark also be true that there are certain circumstances sufficiently horseylookingones such that. comprehensive of conceptualrole theories.thentherecan be no question. presumably. the property horsebut ratherthe disjunctiveproperty Any theorywhich. to apply the Intuitively.And as Wittgenstein possibility seems ofcorrectness is to make sense at all. 'horse'withtheproperty What did not assume this simple form? But what if a dispositional theory 2I. .on pain of falling an expression'sconceptual role with a subject's objection. This is a 'horse' means whateverproperty There are two of course. like the There is a related conceptual difficulty. that no dispositional The objections from normativity I meanby theproperty thatassumes the simple formof identifying theory I am disposed to call 'horse'. would have ruled out. in ideal or normative or shouldit be tied to whatpeople understood terms. of error.p. In a recent. under those circumstances. in the extensionof that expression. If conceptual role is supposed to determine preyto Kripke's meaning. thenit cannotbe thatwhatever right. cit. simplyequates under consideration. notto comment on thismatter .But our crude dispositional expressionto something withthe I meanbyan expression theproperty theory.. theneverything apply the expressionto is. but the reasons are instructive. is bound to get theextensionof 'horse' wrong.176. But it will Then.and theyare closelyrelated. becauseI'm notsure do? .118 on Sun. rightto me is (by definition) One would have thoughtthese points too crucial to miss. 42 Ned Block. ipsofacto. 42 This ought to seem odd. is thatthe theory difficulty of them. ofa choicethatmustbe madeby [conceptual role be shouldconceptual has had no discussion (as faras I know):namely. show.5. giventhatit identifies to. as a matter ifthe idea was fondof remarking. lacks the resources by I am disposedto apply the expression property which to effectthe requisite distinctionbetween correctand incorrect I withwhatever If whatI mean by an expressionis identified dispositions. crude dispositionaltheorycurrently how it would be correctforme to use a certainexpressionwithhow I am the very of definition. not in its extension.
And so we wouldnothaveevena sufficient condition fortheexpression's a givenmeaning. Kripke seems to thinkthat even if therewere a suitablyselected theextension thatcaptured of an expression disposition that accurately.532 Paul A. is therereallyno more to thenormativity ofmeaning thanspecifying capturing sucha property? Now.First. havebeeninclined tofollow himin this. couldstill notbe identified ofmeaning. in non-intentional and determining. has written: 43 It is occasionally suggested thatit wouldbe enoughif possession of M weresufficient forthe correctness. Kripkeis clearly sceptical abouttheexistence of an appropriate I will consider M-property. of a definition simply by virtue of M.In other toKripke. according there werea dispositional that covaried with a meaning predicate logically theonefact couldstillnotbe identified with theother. And. supposingtherewere. thensafely equatemeaning with:thesetof something by an expression This content downloaded from 168. dispositions expression falsely. they ofdistinct A number arefacts ofwriters sorts. in terms it specified thatprinciple thatdid notpresuppose thenotion of or extension. At thispointtwoquestions sucha property arise. couldwe not however.Therewillbe no fear that theequation willissuein falseverdicts aboutwhattheexpression means. ofM is necessary non-semantic a property M suchthat: terms. If onlysufficiency disposition's wererequired we wouldnotknow. forinstance. Provided the theory specified a principle of selection that outonly theextension-tracking andprovided also that picked dispositions.instead ofidentifying I meanby'horse'with what theentire ofmy range in respect dispositions of 'horse'. disposition thefact it with because stillremains of a disposition truethattheconcept is descriptive whereas ofmeaning theconcept is not. meaning wouldit notthenbe truethattheobjections from had beendisarmed? normativity toputmatters Let us try a little more precisely.43 Givensucha property. we wouldknowwhat properties were definitely part oftheexpression's meaning we wouldnotknow ifwe hadthem all. But morethanthis. second. thatquestionbelow.176. since if. it willno longer is right: follow thatwhatever seemsright thosedispositions notpossessing M willnotbe dispositions toapply theexpression towhat it meansand willbe free. Boghossian dispositions withthatproperty to will be guaranteed to be dispositions bothof the objections from applythe expression correctly.it identified it onlywithcertain select dispositions.5. possession for to applyan expression in accordwith andsufficient a disposition being itscorrectness conditions. for predicate. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . to constitute to applythe therefore. it mustselectfrom amongthe I have for 'horse'.those dispositions whichare meaningdispositions In other it mustcharacterize.sinceit is onlyM-dispositions thatare guaranteed to be correct. theexpression's For although meaning. But thatis notright.is there really M? And.118 on Sun. evenif words. possessing dispositions with respectto that expression that possess M? For.SimonBlackburn. If a dispositional theory is to have any prospect of succeeding. words. normativity canvassed so far wouldappeartohavebeenmet.
conditions. And thisis whata dispositional so that of expressions. specifisubstantive the successful. It is not clear thatthisis in generaltrue. 289-9I.seems to carryno such implication.5. and by JohnMcDowell. any such theorymust specify.that apply the expression underwhicha speakeris disposed to thereare certainselectcircumstances apply the expressiononly to horses.118 on Sun. once the extensionshave been specifiedcorrectly? of themeaningof One might have a thought likethis.pp. circular specificationof how the person would ideally respond. as comparedwithhow he actuallyresponds. hence. I984. This would ensure the Second. a correctness reveal that what it is specifying be cannotdo.loc.533 Considerations TheRule-Following they we succeedin identifying dispositions I shareKripke's viewthatwhatever which we mean. But the dispositional of any disposition.. specified. envisaging Blackburnhere is explicitly the extensionsof expressionscorrectly.cit. cation of dispositionsthatmirror of factsabout meaningas groundsfor character But he citesthe normative But what preciselyhas been leftover.To be told whereasthis does followfromthe attribution that 'horse' means horseimplies that a speakerought to be motivatedto only to horses. that thereare factsconcerningcorrect howeverselectively of an extension.is state conditionson an adequate dispositional theory.. somethingwe would be inherently in aremadebyWright concessions Back'. however. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .44 they Indeed. Rule'.A properreduction correctly. What we are in a positionto do.thatit would suffice forceof an ascriptionof meaning.They for selection ofa function couldat mostgiveus standards rule. 77I-2. thatdeservesto be called a an M-dispositioncould amountto something motivated to correctness condition. and perhaps it can be non-question-beggingly of certified thatthatstatecorrespondsto a stateof theproperfunctioning If so.First.and. p. unlike mustbe. to a previous ofwhat it is to be faithful an account provide us with couldn't tothetask areinadequate dispositions Kripke. forinstance. cit.pp. I do notthink It is justthat.176. Similar Strikes "4 'The Individual a on Following 10c.whereasto be told. forcapturingthe normative There is clearly no way to settle the matter in advance of the considerationof particulardispositional proposals.Synthese.propertyM.I think of providing standards.Perhaps theM-dispositionsare those dispositionsthat a person would have when his cognitivemechanisms are in a certainstate.'Wittgenstein his 'Kripke'sAccount'. This content downloaded from 168. 329. denyinga dispositionalreduction. covarywiththe extensions thatlogically dispositions in questionthe expressions' correctness one could read offthe dispositions factdoes not amountto the meaningfact. it would also specify its extension an expression would notmerely is an extension namely. There might theory condition. it is conceivablethatthatwould amountto a nonthosemechanisms. because it never follows from the mere attribution use.withoutpresupposingany semantic or intentionalmaterials. it must show how possession of theory'sextensionalcorrectness.
46 Ibid. which of the many dispositionsa speaker may have with respect to an expressionare dispositionsto use it correctly? Wright'scommunitarian account furnishes the following answer: language save by reference to theauthority ofcommunal assenton thematter.... This would ensure the intensional equivalence of the two propertiesin question. exploiting the notion of a community. The proposal will not serve its purpose. it is a communityof assent which supplies the essential backgroundagainst This content downloaded from 168. University that writings suggest Wright no Press. of more recent provenance.176.The suggestionthat correctness consistsin agreementwith the dispositionsof one's community is designed to meet this need. the correct application of a term is determined by the totalityof the community's actual dispositionsin respectof thatterm.'Reply: Rule-Following: The Natureof Wittgenstein's in Wittgenstein Arguments'. incorrect. pp. . in specifying the communaldispositionsthatare to serve as the constitutive arbitersof correctness..45 Which of the manydispositionsa speakermay have with respect to a given expressiondetermineits meaning?Or. long associated with Wittgenstein to specifyM by seeks himself.The theorydoes not attempt.i980. What property two sortsof proposal: mightM be? There are. As a response to the problemabout meaning. dispositions. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . There is a reason forthis. Boghossian satisfy.ed.attempts to defineM in termsof the notionof an optimality condition. equivalently. The idea thatcorrectness withone's fellows consistsin agreement has a in thestudyofWittgenstein. the other. many commentators-whether rightly or wrongly-identified communitarianism as a centralthesisof the later writings.accordingto the proposal on offer. however. Routledge and Kegan Paul.118 on Sun.) See also Christopher Peacocke. Holtzman and Leich.it foundits in Wright's Wittgenstein most sustained treatment on the Foundations of Mathematics.I shall begin with the communitarian account.London. and forthecommunity itself there is no authority.between correctand incorrect distinction. Communitarianism is a response to the perceived inabilityto definea at the level of the individual. so no standard to meet.534 Paul A. to select fromamong the community's actual dispositionsa privilegedsubset. thus paving the way foran outright reductionof meaningto dispositions. .if the problemat the level of the individual is now merely to be replayed at the level of the 4 Harvard Cambridge. None of us can unilaterally make sense of correctemployment of whichalone it makessense to thinkof individuals' responses as correct or .5. one. I98I. in effect. Even beforethe current distinguished history concern with a 'rule-following problem'. The communitarian account 22. 2I9-20. (His morerecent longerholds this view.46 It is important to understand that. on Following a Rule.
His thought notionof truth. Does communal consensus responsecharacteristic of truth? A number of criticshave complained against communitarianism that communalconsensusis simplynotthesame property as truth. Oxford. 82ff. How does the proposal fare with respect to the outlined adequacy conditionson dispositionaltheories? Consider firstthe 'intensional' requirement. means horseand my dispositionto apply it to cows on dark nightsis See Blackburn. thatthe proposaldoes not fareall thatbadlyin connection with argument. cit. is not so much hereas with the extensional requirement. Wherecommunitarianism fails.undeniable. but non-collusively. is not whethercommunitarianism captures our ordinarynotion of truth.forthe sake of the use of intentional materials?). I have a dispositionto apply it to horses. This is. Consider the term 'horse'. is thatthe emaciated notionof truthyielded by communitarianism is the best we can hope to considerations. see also Blackburn. the 'intensional'requirement.47 communitarian is not best read as offering an analysis of the ordinary but a displacement of it.176.it seemsto me.on sufficiently dark nights. Oxford University Press. of course.But the applicationof a givenpredicate. cit. For a moreextensive discussion see my Essayson Meaningand Belief. 4 48 This content downloaded from 168. op.unliketruth. and whetherit can be suitablynonarticulated reductively (can 'non-collusiveagreement'be definedwithout I am preparedto grant. pp. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. This is a large question on which I do not propose to spend a lot of time.118 on Sun.I984. does not want it to be a further question whether a given actual communal disposition is itself correct.loc.5. it is.that possession of the favoured M-property appear intuitivelyto resemble possession of a command the sort of correctnesscondition. Intuitively.TheRule-Following Considerations 535 A communitarian community. forit quite clearlydoes not. thatthereis no incoherencein the suggestionthat all the members of a linguistic in the off-track community have gone collectively. 'Horse' deceptively horseylookingcows. Spreading theWord. as offering the folowing characterization of M: M is theproperty ofagreeing withtheactual dispositions of thecommunity. rather.48Althoughthereare subtle questionsabout how much of logic will be recoverablefromsuch a view. expectin lightof the rule-following then. Non-collusive communal agreementon a judgement does usually provide one with some sort of reason for not witha decisiveone). whether communitarianism offers any concept deservingof that name. The proposal must be understood.to apply it to the factsare clear.therefore. it the judgement embracing (even if. But I also have a disposition. What dispositionsdo I have in respect of this expression?To be sure. thusmimicsto some degreethe sortof responsethatis essentialto truth. The crucial question.
motive for definingM over communaldispositions. about the term'horse'. This content downloaded from 168.176.cannotcall themmistakes. rather. of meaning.accordingto none of our predicateshave the extensionswe take communitarianism. The problem.and so forth-that effective presenceof features bad lighting. but. however.are bound to be duplicated at the level of the systematically for The communitarian.000 people just like me from The point is impostor? being takenin by the same. theyarise because of the we make are systematic: thatmanyof themistakes disguises. is general. then.118 on Sun.thus failingthe firstrequirement adequate dispositionaltheory. then. nothing-at least nothingobvious-tells against definingAMdirectlyover an individual's the way the voluminousliterature on this Which is precisely dispositions.The communitarresultsystematically those which ian's idea is that the correctdispositionsare constitutively community's disposiare the What. He must insist. ifI can be takenin by a deceptively nights'horse'.Which is to say thatwe are still are to have a plausible theory was supposed to provide:the specification lackingwhatcommunitarianism M such that.it will simply not do to identifytruth with ' dispositions.possessionof M by a dispositionis necessary of a property forthat disposition'scorrectness. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . they are the community's dispositions. of course. It seems to me thatwe have no optionbut to rejecta pure communitariof our the extensions anism. After cow on a dark night. but mean something is bound to issue in false verdictsabout the say that communitarianism on an meanings of most expressions. however exactly specified. once we have abandoned communitarianism. instead. agree with the community's. community. If we are to have any prospectof identifying expressions correctly.Even fromamong the community ifwe have to selectthosewhichmay be consideredmeaning-determining.5. Boghossian mistaken. any of my dispositions that are in this sense mistaken. firm that 'horse' means not horse convictionto the contrary notwithstanding.is bound to exhibitpreciselythe same dualityof dispositionsthat I do: it too will be horseylookingcows on dark disposed to call both horsesand deceptively horsey looking all. then. have a generalizable and predictable effecton creatures with similar cognitive endowments. There are countless possible special and thereis nothing impostors undercountlesspossibleconditions. (This is presumably what makes 'magicians' possible.what is to preventI7. admittedly effective. horseor cow.Which is to wildlydisjunctive themto have.) But.536 Paul A.The problem is to come up with a theorythat delivers this and in purelydispositionalterms. The upshot would appear to be that.I submit. topic approachesthe problemand to a discussionof whichI now propose to turn. and sufficient we lack any Of course. tions likelyto be? The community. we communalconsensus.
J.Part I." But. cit. holds that optimal conditionsare the conditions under which the meaning of the expressionwas firstacquired. in Meaning in Mind: EssaYs on the Wfork forthcoming Fodor. Mlillikan. Basil Blackwell. in effect. Fred Dretske. forthcoming. p. MIT. and Fodor.Basil Blackwell. and OtherBiological Categories. This content downloaded from 168. Thought theoryof this form. Kripkeis very short withsuchpossibleelaborations ofa dispositional theory. that this theoryis subject to the same difficulties 50 For theories of this form see: David Papineau.ifhisrejection ofdispositional is currently exert. I argue of/jerry as confrontstandard optimalityversions. I984. cit.TheRule-Following Considerations 537 Optimaldispositions 23. See his 'A Theory of Content'. accounts to succeed. MIT Press.176.118 on Sun. The literature supplies what is. 52 Against Dretske see Fodor. A numberof otherwriters subscribeto some formor otherof a teleological proposal: optimality conditionsare those conditions definedby evolutionarybiology-under which our cognitivemechanismsare functioning just as theyare supposed to.thatno at specifying can hope to succeed. and. Part II. What I wouldliketo do in theremainder is forthatconclusion. Cambridge. Reality and Representation. hence. however. surely.hence. we may equate what theymean by a given (mental) expressionwith. I shy awaayfromsaying whetherR. is a set of principled considerations of non-semantically.53 such conditions attempt There is one exception to this generalization:JerryFodor's recent proposal has it that S's are those that serve as an 'asymmetric dependence base' for S's other meaning-determining dispositions. Oxford. . against teleological theoriessee my Essays on Meaning and Belief. incapable of mistaken judgements.. non-intentionally againstthe existence specifiable optiof thissection mality conditions. 5 This amounts to saying that such theoriescannot meet the extensional requirement.MS. Psjychosemantics.this underestimates the complexity problems involved and failsto do justiceto the influence thatsuch proposals WhatKripkeneeds. for one or another reason. I987. proposalsprovidedifferent characterizations of the conditionsthatare supposed to be optimalin thissense.In 'Naturalizing Content'.I want to attempt could general sweep:I wantto arguethatwe havereasonto believethatthere not be naturalistically conditions specifiable under which a subjectwill be disposedto apply an expression onlyto whatit means. He briefly considers thesuggestion thatwe attempt to define idealized will revealthe futilitv of dispositions and says that'a littleexperimentation of the such an effort'.but does not reallyprovide. 51 K. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .5.underoptimalconditions.so I shall not even consider whetherthey meet the intensionalone. loc. loc. to beginto sketch an argument Severalspecific problems of an optimality forspecific versions have receiveddiscussionin the theory an argument with a more literature.50 Now.52 Here. Oxford. 32.the properties theyare disposed to apply the expression Different to. I987.. a set of variations on a basic theme:M is theproperty of: beinga disposition to apply (an expression)in a certain type 49 The idea behindsuch proposalsis thatthereis ofstu a certainset of circumstances call them 'optimality conditions' under which subjects are. 'A Theory of Conteint'. presentsa Language. forexample. Fodor: 'Psychosemantics'.
it was supposed to provide sumedthevery properties to satisfy bothofthese to argueis thatit is impossible WhatI propose conditions simultaneously. The dispositionalist true.5. is theidea ofa property property (or objector relation) from a desire tosimplify 5 This restriction toperceptually fixed beliefs stems partly exposition and from a desire to consider suchtheories at their partly strongest.to beginwith. S and concept (8) For anysubject be sucha setof conditions? Could there Notice. thevery idea ofa wholly For.Consider outwith to laytheproblem 24.thisamounts is a set is thatthere theory ofa dispositional an optimality version behind underwhichNeil cannotmake conditions specifiable of naturalistically Under thoseconof presented items. thethought to his mistaking cows.Now. a cow fora horse. 'horse' under in turn that. Clearly. are conditions to. suchas to preclude 'horse'willgetappliedonlyto whatit means. a priori willbe suchas to yield setofconditions 0. Neil to be disposed Neil to meanhorse by'horse'is for facts: for meaning two are optimal.But that it of the property willget tokened (in the beliefmode) onlyin respect means: look at the out what any expression So. implies there is one.'horse'. relation) (object. anysemantic a reconstruction of.538 Paul A. This content downloaded from 168. to figure expresses.176. say. objective non-intentional terms. without theconditions must be specified purely thetheory willhaveasor intentional materials-otherwise.(ii) underthoseconditions theuse of naturalistically. Boghossian somecare. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . evenif 0 equations we oughtnot to expectoptimality property. ditions. and objective contents Optimaldispositions non-intentionally is aftera non-semantically. thoseconditions.intuitively.thatwhereR is the conceptof an objective forR. whenhe applies'horse'to and thaton thoseoccasions Neil meanshorse.when toapply theexpression Neil is disposed properties of The end result is a dispositional reconstruction in thissenseoptimal.118 on Sun. Neil and a particular expression. to call onlyhorses'horse'.54 in the identification mistakes ofhimonlyif in front that there is a horse he wouldbelieve then. Let it be clear.whenconditions conditions mustreallybe mustbe satisfied: (i) the specified conditions itwillbe false that thepossibility oferror-otherwise. stiff constraints imposedby a were not requiredto meet the rather and in non-semantic specification reductive dispositionalism-namely. It willbe worthwhile repertoire. 25. looking cowson darknights.in Neil's mental to token 'in thebelief thatexpression And supposethatNeil is disposed horsey mode' both in respectof horsesand in respectof deceptively that'horse'for furthermore. which specifiable of the form: equations optimality R: O-(S judgesRx-+Rx).
such that. belief that that is just what magpies look like. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ground:forany concept. terms.55 is witha class of contentsforwhichtheredoes exista range The contrast authoritasubjectsare necessarily such that.56 versus inaccessible a distinction betweenaccessible of theory We are now in a positionto see.subjectiveor objective. Neil may come because of his to believe Lo. however.it is impossibleto satisfy of a set of condidispositionalism'sbasic requirement:the specification subjects are immune from error about judgements involving that concept. robust: just about any stimuluscan cause just about any belief. inaccessible contentsin the first to arguing against the dispositional theoryon neutral turn.thereis no necessaryfunction forsuch a property. occasion to discussconstitutive This content downloaded from 168.or because beliefthatthe onlybirdsin the immediate vicinity the Pope says goes and his beliefthatthe Pope of his beliefthatwhatever in Subject.appropriate of circumstances Philosophersdistive about those contentsunder those circumstances. The point is that. a magpie. It nota constitutive distinction. Error and theObjectivity 'Cartesian TylerBurge.5. again typically. fora Oxford. Thought an property.under0. It is thus committedto obliterating betweenaccessible and inaccessiblecontents.given a suitablymediatingset of backgroundassumptions. or because of his further are magpies. I25. in non-semantic. (I takeit no one is tempted judgements we makeaboutthem. by virtue of being committedto the existence of optimality equations for every concept. The basic difficulty belief which fix belief.but it is typicalto think agree.I986. holism and belief Optimaldispositions of the processes derivesfromthe holisticcharacter 26. See. thefactthata content from does notfollow from thefactthatwe are authoritative to conclude aboutit.thatpainsare constituted claimsofthissortlateron in thepaper. Let us call this exampleofthecontrasting as representing an extreme contents. J. is committedthereby to treatingevery the concept as if it were accessible. given person's abilitiesand judgementsto truthsabout that property. And this dependence is. and non-intentional tions0. this objection will not impress anyone reluctant to place.118 on Sun. forexample. Pettit.ofcourse.about whatcontents about pain about shape as whollyobjectiveand of judgements judgements class.We shallhave by thejudgements aboutour pains. distinction Of course. under normal circumstances. McDowell and P.thata dispositional meaning.Thus. therefore. I countenancewholly objective.176. p. 5 Clarendon Press.as a resultof seeing a currawong. of objective oftheconcept formulation similar one. ed. thatthisis an epistemological 56 It is important to appreciate by ourbest constituted thatit is therefore is accessible. of fallwhere. fixationis typicallymediated by backgroundtheory-what contents a thinker is preparedto judge will depend upon what othercontentshe is arbitrarily prepared to judge. and Context. ofPerception'.539 Considerations TheRule-Following of any givenperson'sabilitiesor judgements: whosenatureis independent froma in otherwords.
176. there wouldappearto be plenty of reasonto doubt the reducibility of content properties to naturalistic But Kripke's properties. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in question. how does all this bear on the prospects fora dispositional of theory A dispositional has to specify. one of two further things is needed. a non-semantically.540 Paul A. think.if we had thatwe would alreadyhave a reductive theory of meaning-wewouldnotneeda dispositional theory! Which is to saythat. a frontal assaulton theirreducible Or. far more conclusion. ifthere is to be anysortofreductive story aboutmeaning at all. failing that. meaning? OF This content downloaded from 168. simply couldnotbe any content properties. But theobservation that onlyin respect Lo. property thatit is. necessary and sufficient conditions forbeinga beliefwitha certain content. VI ANTI-REDUCTIONIST CONCEPTIONS MEANING An argument fromqueerness? considerations 27. the anti-reductionism by At a minimum itself. And so on. of course. of magpies.Since. optimality non-intentionin which allyspecified situation itis guaranteed that noneofthispotential infinity of background clusters of beliefis present. a magpie beliefs arefixed that a thinker willbe disposed holistically implies to think Lo. optimality at a minimum. therefore. If these are correct. a situation characterized ofall thebeliefs specifying which bytheabsence fromnon-magpies could potentially mediatethe transition to magpie beliefs. theorist without use of semantic or in whicha thinker intentional a situation will be disposedto materials. The thought currawong can gettriggered in anyofan that is a magpie something bya currawong indefinite number of ways. But how is such a situation to be specified? Whatis neededis precisely whata dispositional wassupposed toprovide: theory a setofnaturalistic namely. mediating background non-intentionally specified situation is a non-semantically. But. a magpie in respect ofnon-magpies. ofan indefinite number provided onlythatthe appropriate beliefs are present.Eitheran totheeffect independent that argument only naturalistic properties arereal. therelooks to be a potential infinity of such clusters of belief.it cannot taketheform ofa dispositional theory.5. however. showing somehow inherently 'queer'. willinvolve. in Mackie'sphrase. sceptic doesnotmerely drawan anti-reductionist he concludes. that there radically. what the content justifies scepticism? Not.118 on Sun. Suppose we grantthe anti-reductionism. beliefs whichcouldmediate Now. an background Specifying condition for'magpie'. Boghossian saysthatthispresented is a magpie.corresponding to the potentially indefinite number of background thetransition. of course.
in myexplicitly table. ofcertainty whenever it are awareofit with somefair degree yetwe supposedly mean thathe does. nottobe assimilated ofa uniquekind ofitsown. Wittgenstein Wittgenstein's sceptical argument. impossible (or at least forthere to be a stateof 'meaning thatthere logicaldifficulty) is a considerable addition by "plus"' at all.at present.at some appropriate level Accordingto anti-reductionism. In the firstplace.176. of each case of theaddition thinking does notconsist which ina quus-like ofa finite state notbe interpreted could way? Can weconceive How couldthatbe?57 There are several problems with this passage.is that there is no interesting mentalcontent. passage containsa couple of considerations The first chargeis thatwe would have no idea how to explainour ability " 58 K.He does not even tryto defend a reductionist principle about the intentional.58A plausible antireductionismabout meaning would not wish to deny that there is an content and to be told about the relationbetweenlinguistic interesting story what it maintains.118 on Sun. properties. nortobe assimilated in an appropriate and ifit is taken Such a movemayin a sensebe irrefutable.one stateper expression. contained in ourfinite minds..without otherwisedescribed. it leavesthenature wayWittgenstein mayevenacceptit..Considerations 54I TheRule-Following is thathe The singlegreatest weaknessin Kripke's scepticalargument fails to bring offeitherrequirement. "plus"'-completely mysterious.5. with properties prospectof identification for this suggestion?The Does Kripke manage to create a difficulty thatmay be so construed. pp. thatintrospection butalso thatit is logically ofunderstanding is a chimera. mental content propertiesmust simply be taken for granted. See thepaperscitedundern.For howelse can each ofus be confident in is the logical difficulty implicit additionby 'plus'? Even more important as I think notmerely that argues. This content downloaded from 168. Perhapsit is simply a thanwe havearguedbefore.. buta state states. 3 above. 51-2..But it seemsdesperate: stateof 'meaning addition by of thispostulated state the primitive primitive It is notsupposed to be an introspectible state.rather. thealleged'qualitative' state showsthat we havesaid hitherto. It Such a statewouldhaveto be a finite object. occurs.and his brief attemptat a and unconvincing: 'queerness' argumentis half-hearted addition by 'plus' is a by arguing thatmeaning Perhaps we maytryto recoup. todispositions. it the appropriate anti-reductionist suggestion. language expressions by which the inscriptionsand vocables of a public language acquire an enormousarrayof complexprocess involving meaningis a manifestly appropriatepropositionalattitudes the outlinesof which may arguably be found in the writingsof Paul Grice and others. stateevenmoresui generis orheadaches orany'qualitative' tosensations primitive state. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . propertiesto physical/functional reduction of mental content in otherwords.I take it thatit misconstrues reallyis not plausible that there are 'primitivestates' of meaningpublic The process in certainways.
60 See. provides notes thenonof contentful phenomenal character statesprecludesan introspective accountof their epistemology. an argument from is somesubstantive distinct from queerness. adducing anyindependent reasonwhywe should.60And second. Butthis he does notprovide. however. forexample.'Knowing One's Own Mind'. forexample.because theremay be non-introspective accountsof self-knowledge. muchdiscussed ofseeing-as.becauseit does notobviously follow from the fact thata mental statelacksan individuative phenomenology.176. contains information nevertheless aboutthecorrect applicabilityof a sign in literally no end of distinct situations. thatit is not to theanti-reductionist second is that Kripke's itis objection suggestion utterly mysterious how therecould be a finite state. He merely that Kripke.this to insisting amounts thatwe findthe idea of a contentful merely state without problematic.542 Paul A. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .62 But in the contextof Kripke's dialectic. whenwe see them nowin one way. WhatKripke needs. we see theNecker cube nowwithone face forward. And thisis problematic fortworeasons. again. of all things.6' I987.5. nowwith And we knowimmediately another. _7ournal November I988. Boghossian to knowour thoughts. January 61 It is interesting to note.'Individualism of Philosophy. None of this should be understood as suggesting that an antireductionism aboutcontent is unproblematic. But. byWittgenstein himself. seemingly by all the considerations in the latter's favour. thequalitative character ofthe visualexperience remains thesameevenas theaspectchanges. First. familiar. nowin theother. realizedin a finite that mind. forit is farfrom it. incidentally. and Self-Knowledge'. that one ofthemorestriking examples oftheintrospective discernment of a non-qualitative mentalfeature is providedby. howwe are seeingthese precisely objects as. This content downloaded from 168. adduced 5 For discussion of someof thedifficulties see my'Content and Self-Knowledge'. We see theduck-rabbit nowas a duck. no one who has contemplated theproblem of selfcan failto be impressed knowledge But I think that byitsdifficulty. Proceedings oftheAPA. There are. istconsiderations.118 on Sun.59 we wouldbe forgiven we allowedthisto driveus to a dubiously if. difficulties an antireconciling reductionism aboutcontent properties with a satisfying conception oftheir causal efficacy. mental with We knowthat states contents arestates with general infinitary normative it is precisely characters. withthatobservation thattheentire ifhe is topulloff discussion began. the antireductionist suggestion emerges as a stable responseto the sceptical one that is untouched conclusion.nowas a rabbit. But thischange of'aspect'. Philosophical Topics. is nevertheless nota change for qualitative. if we endorsed a non-reductionist conception of their content. hisanti-reductionargument.before coherent irrealism aboutcontent. an experiential I havein mind phenomenon. no suchproof. Davidson. thephenomenon. and serious. 62 See below. Now. SpringI989. why notcountenance we should suchstates. although manifestly insomething introspectible. introspectible. Tyler Burge. we required on theorder ofa something proofthatno satisfactory epistemology was ultimately to be had. and D.
543 Considerations TheRule-Following McDowell on privacyand community of meaning. context He writes: language. thatcorrectness. Wittgenstein a web liesdownthere: as itwere.. warnsus not to tryto dig below'bedrock'. quietism of meaning can be gleaned. does that conception a non-reductionist 28. in But it is difficult. in lightof therejection 63 64 Ibid. about no substantive results from which a position aboutmeaning. This content downloaded from 168. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . contingencies ofthenotion applicability . considerations ofa private thepossibility thusprecluding ofa communal practice. 348. 34I. p. p.5. not thought have certainly attractive suggestion an anti-reductionist lessonsforthe important in thoseconsiderations theyhave discerned while rejecting of meaning. John we can dig downto a levelat to think it is a mistake lights.. We haveto resist levelat are at thedeepest of'bedrock' 'of howthings to form a picture the place of [meaning]in the which we may sensiblycontemplate world' which does not alreadyemploythe idea of the correct(or use ofan expression. of the possibility correctunderstanding of in virtue question: answers to the constitutive reductive substantive possessmeaning? whatdo expressions that: has written McDowell. incorrect) him to a McDowell does not takethis to commit Oddly. is a precondition to theconstitutive answers of substantive How.in this vision.One is likelyto be struckby the sheer contingency of on which. 349..the possibility between individuals resemblances seemsto depend meaning And: the below 'bedrock'would undermine disorderliness It is truethata certain bear So theunderlying ofrule-following.63 to McDowell'sWittgenstein.176.p. a senseofwhat. can existonlyin the and hencemeaning. him. of course. By Wittgenstein's notions(like 'following for normative whichwe no longerhave application according to therule'). a Rule'.. cit. on Following 'Wittgenstein 65 Ibid. in communal ofagreement responses a certain measure claimthat steinian to be motivated? But howis sucha thesis formeaning.On the forthe possibility the conditions moralof therule-following he claimsthatit is the discernible contrary.. to avoidacquiring reading without describable usingthenotion and 'inner' episodes. according thetemptation.however. offacts aboutbehavior of the of meaning. If we endorse disturbnothingin our considerations mean that the rule-following A number whohavefound ofwriters conception ofthatnotion? ordinary so..118 on Sun. loc.65 to thenotion ofrule-following relation an intimate of thefamiliar WittgenMcDowell'scharacterization This is.forexample.
a straightforward it.176.' though. But this constitutive questions. part. goodexample is acute. Boghossian question. cit..I think. he normsare accountofcorrectness: rejectstheverydemandfora substantive partof the 'bedrock'.67 suggestionis that there are importantconstitutive Wright's intriguing question we shelved some resultsto be gleaned fromthe epistemological are simplyto be takenfor pages back: namely.118 on Sun. 67 'Wittgenstein's of Theoretical consideration and theCentral LinguisRule-Following Project tics'. is to saythat substantive constitutive accounts especially see Zettel #i6:'The mistake constitutive and transcendental there is anything that meaning something consists' with theobvious the rejection It is fashionable to soft-pedal of pretensions of the rule-following considerations.544 Paul A. notbya match externals (facts hereecho. as I have alreadynoted.rejectsthe suggestion in termsof communaldispositions.The main Wittgenstein's butbya meeting ofminds'. in But McDowell. thefamily-resemblance concepts.Indeed. most centrally. how is the necessityof an counterfactual From what does the demand 'orderly communal'practiceto be defended? for orderliness flow? And from what the demand for community? McDowell's paper containsno helpfulanswers. 237. Consider the contrastwith the communitarian answerto a substantive question. own.are possible only where one's fellows. In fact. representing it as displaying a mere'distrust' on Wittgenstein's is tiedtoextremely ignores thefact that therejection ofanalyses andnecessary andsufficient conditons viewof important first-order theses aboutmeaning.shortof a substantive account. with in conformity is said to consist a communalpractice:since correctness and with it meaning. and on thecontrary. thatcorrectapplicationmightbe analysed myview. . CrispinWright a to Kripke'sScepticmayseemto provide flat-footed [t]hissomewhat response I . merereflection necessary formeaningis a surprising constitutive ofmeaningdoes notrevealit. actual and without any prospect of reconstruction truthsabout communal use.5. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . But ifwe are simply forgranted. And what. rightly thereare otherswithwhom one may conform.and is one of think therealproblem Argument posed by theSceptical is notthat ofanswering the fundamental Buttheproblem concerns. p. Wittgenstein's answer given howand whythecorrect The problem is thatofseeing Argument.how. is it to be argued for? The claim that communal practice is on the concept claim.unreduced and to be allowed to take the idea of correctness in terms of. . including. McDowell'sproblems his rejection of difficulty confronting a would-beinterpreter of Wittgenstein is how to reconcile ofmeaning. can be correct. This content downloaded from 168. and generates.could conceivablygroundit? view consideredabove. of 'loss of problems. accessible [that] is conceived as boundtogether.correctness. say.66 of meaning judgement-dependence Wright on the that: conception about theanti-reductionist has written 29.offers That viewengagestheconstitutive of forthe necessity argument thereby. Ioc.beneathwhichwe mustnot dig. if contentproperties 66 Thoughsee hisremarks which I do notunderstandon a 'linguistic community I am afraid inmere tojustanyone).
if the former.545 Considerations TheRule-Following either in experientialor granted. of sentencesascribingcontentto mentalstates. Wright. determine the truth-value which confer statesof affairs constituted theydo not trackindependently truthor falsity upon them.68 whenwe operate to the We may explain the contrast Wrighthas in mind here by recurring idea of an accessible content(see above). thus. is between facts which are constitutedindependentlyof our judgements.And the claim is that facts about content have to be construed on the latter model.then.p.has a more constructive logical question will reveal. the target of the ruleis not the realityof contentfacts. for judgements For judgecognitive pedigree.5.but. which what we judgeto be true is constitutively for suchjudgements.truth.Wrightreconstructs extensively and inferential concepagainstboth introspective ing set of considerations exhaustingthe epistemologies tions of self-knowledge..can theybe known?As we saw. rather. without prospect of reconstruction to terms. An accessible contentis one about which subjects are necessarily authoritativeunder cognitively Now. under those optimal circumstances. This content downloaded from 168. there bycontrast.176. which pass the test. 68 Ibid.and factswhich are constiideal tutedprecisely by the judgementswe would formunder cognitively circumstances. 246. so he claims. judgement-dependent judgement-independent The contrast. judgement-independent Best judgements constitutively thing) conception of their constitution. conceptionof contentby Wrightarguesforthis'judgement-dependent' model..howeveroptimal. Pressingthe epistemohowever. facts?or is it. Drawing available on the alternative the epistemologies attacking an intereston Wittgenstein's actual text. explanationfor this authority:is it that. presumably. concerning of anyconsiderations independently true and is no distance between being ments failthetest. use this question to embarrasshis anti-reductionist projectin mind.a considerations following if you thinkthesecome to the same (or Platonist. and circumstance-and ofbothjudger idealconditions matter.118 on Sun. is a standardconstituted Truth. Pace Kripke.that judgementsunder constituted independently the facts in question? A fact is those circumstancessimply constitute if the latter. subjects are exceptionallywell-equipped to track the relevant. essentially What does it mean for a class of facts to be judgement-dependent? Wright'sexplanationis framedin termsof a failureto pass the 'order-oftest': determination test concernsthe relationbetweenbest judgeThe order-of-determination subject to theirparticular made in whatare. Kripke attempted dispositional opponent.. that facts about content are 'judgement-dependent'. rather. beingbest. withrespect ments-judgements truth. cognitively . undercognitively idealconditions. a question may be raised about the correct optimalcircumstances. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .
as Wrightpoints facts. whatit would taketo groundnotmerely What is needed. by regardingthem as constituted by truthsconcerningour best judgements about mental content. then.So goes Wright'sargument. just let C be: conditions under which S is infallibleabout colour. The suggestion and thatthisis to be accomplished content as genuineobjectsof cognition.unless restrictions are placed on the permissible specificationsof C. of anything else on the left-hand-side. terms.176.but their judgement-dependence? out.546 Paul A.69 This seems right. indeed. as trackedby our self-regarding judgements.Wrightoffers the case of colour. Boghossian available to his opponent. But not just any biconditionalof this form will serve to secure the accessibility of colour.For unless the specification of the C-conditions.or.thatKripke's unstablecontentirrealism is to be avoided at all costs.formedunder the relevantC-conditions.pp. mental is thatwe must not construefactsconcerning 30. does this Are inevitably driveus to a judgement-dependent conceptionof content? therenot otherconceptionsthatwould equally accommodatethe rejection of a tracking none of thesequestionscan be epistemology? Unfortunately..Is it reallytruethatWittgenstein's accomplishment' theoriesof self-knowledge? Supposing it does.5. is precludedfrompresupposing facts about the colours of objects. Here I have adequatelyaddressedwithinthe confines to settle for raising a question about whethera judgement-dependent conceptionof content could everbe the cogentmoral of any argument. we can have no satisfactory explanation of our abilityto know them.avoidinga 'whatever-it-takes' ofcolour the accessibility Now. what does this amount to? For illustrative purposes.118 on Sun. 247-8. So long as facts about our mental states are construedas independent of. 69 Ibid. aresatisfied in a case is logically ofanytruths thedetails particular independent concerning ofthe extension of colourconcepts.iffactsabout colourare to judgement-dependent? We would need. and difficult Wright'sdiscussion raises a number of interesting quesall 'cognitive discussiondestroys tions.What would have to be true. to secure the accessibility of colour facts. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . For example. biconditionalof the following form: if C: S would judge x to be blue+-+x is blue.On the assumption. every propertywill turn out to be accessible. it must be further requiredthat C be specifiedin substantial formulation.and so a firstand foremost. it will remain entirelyopen whethersubjects' judgements. of the presentessay. Well. is that thequestion whether theC-conditions.thatleaves the judgement-dependent conception as the only contender. So.and. This content downloaded from 168. hence. so substantially specified.
by Paul option.familiar. fixedconstitution dently is preciselytruthsabout best judgementthatfixthose facts.5. judgements. to robustrealism this paper-if it has one-is thatthe major alternatives are beset by veryserious difficulties. it would appear. For it is inconceivable. impossibleas a conceptionof factsabout mentalcontent. that judgeIrrealism-the view. of every expression in the language. 'judgement-dependent' by our conception of that fact according to which it is constituted The idea is clearlyappropriatein connectionwithfactsabout judgements. and prospects robust realism Conclusion: -problems designatethe view thatjudgementsabout meaning realism 3I.in connection with facts about colour or sound.176.) versionsof realism appear to be false. I trust.given what judgement-dependence in the case of mentalcontentshould amountsto.70 But it is. This content downloaded from 168. And thatmeans thatany such biconditional of constitution by best of mentalcontentquite independent a constitution judgement. Let robust Then the moral of and judgement-independent. the contentof the said to fixthe factsabout mental contenthave to be presupjudgements will alwayspresuppose posed. are in orderas well. (An error-theoretic Churchland.A should have been clear from difficulty In a way. No doubt. 246-54. For satisfaction reallydid determine would always presuppose some antecedescribed on the left-hand-side theclaim thatit thusundermining of colourfacts. implausibly. advocated by Kripke's Wittgenstein..118 on Sun.as promoted. at a minimum. the start. and.thatjudgementsabout meaningconcerna rather 70 For a veryilluminating thatwould have to be met.see ibid. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . that the biconditionals be freeof any assumpthat theirleft-hand-sides the requirement satisfy tions about mental content.irreducible. by definition. The rathermore promising(and more popular) proposal. are factual.For it cannotin by our judgements generalbe truethatfactsabout contentare constituted about content: facts about content. mentsabout meaningare non-factual-appears not even to be a coherent variant. constitutedindependentlyof the are presupposedby the model itself.seems no better.though less clearly appropriate. The proposal that Reductionist about meaning concern communal dispositionsis unsatisjudgements not merelybecause.547 Considerations TheRule-Following of the conditions factsabout colour.an intuitive a conception of a given fact is. the chic or the fashionable.it precludes the possibilityof factory themeaning but because it appears bound to misconstrue communalerror. of the conditions discussion pp. otherrequirements seeinghow factsabout mental alreadyclearthatthereis a seriousdifficulty on judgementthe statedrequirements contentcould conceivablysatisfy dependence. For.for example.
as I undermeaning. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ifreductionist areeschewed? Second: aboutmeaning.7' But I do notsee that theantiembarrassment If anything. ifreductionism is eschewed. ultimately. with Butiftheconsiderations thealternatives thissentiment. " See my'Content and Self-Knowledge'. explanation ofourability to know ourownthoughts. it reductionist needfeel aboutthis. 72 Againsee myibid. Boghossian also appearsto confront serious certainsort of idealizeddisposition. unanswered questions. standit. meaning. as I have stressed. alsotoagree anti-reductionist conception untouched.finally. This content downloaded from 168. thanimplausible. seemsto me. anyspecial are better forhimthanforhis opponent.176. canvassed against andifitis true the'rule-following' leavean arecorrect. As far as I amconcerned.72 The anti-reductionist laboursunderno comparable burden. theorizing programs an anti-reductionism aboutmeaning how are we to reconcile properties witha satisfying oftheir causalor explanatory conception efficacy? And. ofmeaning a judgement-dependent seemsnotto And.is notonlyconsistent butpositively a theory about with.5. that thereductionist is committed.A fewbrief remarks willhaveto suffice. norreducible. false. as I haveargued elsewhere. cit.Robustrealism harbours some the solutions to whichappearnot to be trivial.118 on Sun. to livewiththatfact. a nonprogrammes. is bestunderstood as a thesis reductionism aboutmeaning aboutmental notaboutlinguistic So anti-reductionism. that considerations itis hard. a judgement-independent appearsto presuppose conception is too facile a It is sometimes said thatan anti-reductionist conception It is hardnotto sympathize response to theproblem aboutmeaning. meaning Let me heremention that survive therejection justa fewofthequestions of reductionist For one thing. theprospects A reductionist would have it thatmeanings are fixedby certain kindsof that thesort offact couldhardly be known observationdispositional fact. ifhe is ally.It wouldappearto follow of self-knowledge. hopeto address anyofthesequestions adequately here. it. our (first-person) ofthem? finally: howare we to explain knowledge I cannot. invites. loc. conception ideaofconstitution because thevery be a stable option. in a difficulties: it is hardto see howtheidealizations are to be specified non-question-begging way. I cannotsee that an antiTo begin with the last questionfirst. ofcourse. to an inferential to have a substantial epistemology that worse conception-aconception maybe. As forthe chargethattherewould be nothing leftfora theory of it seemsto me simply to be. it is timethatwe learned Perhaps I do notpretend thatthiswillbe easy.Meaning tobe neither with properties appear eliminable.548 Paul A. reductionist conception of contenthas a specialproblemabout selfno onehasa satisfactory knowledge. First:whatsortof roomis leftfor There are threemain difficulties. bybestjudgement ofmeaning.
118 on Sun. whetheror not the view was Wittgenfew adherentstoday.though. now. Journal ofPhilosphy. that he reaches forit.But. Grandy. papers Topics. The by whichwe interpret a generalaccountof the principles important work of Quine. Lewis. and much interesting remainsto be done. recent seeE. BOGHOSSIAN 48109 Oxford Oxford.'MakingMind Matter andJerry This content downloaded from 168. University 7' For some I987.i980.then.176. 'MindMatters'. More'. witha satisfying about contentproperties reconcilean anti-reductionism It is a view long associated with conception of their causal efficacy? Wittgenstein himself. But. and Events. Press. I believe.and so with of mentalcontent. of whatmakesa givenmentalstatea belief. 1 Sep 2013 20:48:20 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . conceptionof content.and otherson the neitherneeds. of the compositional structure theories There is hardlyany fear. nor is best understoodin theoryof radical interpretation of the Its propergoal is the articulation aspirations. in his Essayson Actions 73 See 'Actions. termsof.Philosophical Fodor.It may be thatit will eventually work But the subject is relativelyunexplored.73 But propositionalattitudesrationalize partlyby virtueof theircontent-it is partlybecause Neil's beliefis that attitude thereis winein his glass. so. we foregoreductionist programmes thereis thequestionofmentalcausation:how are we to Finally.5. how is an causal role in the explanationof intentional to accord thema genuinecausal about contentproperties anti-reductionist to the essentialincompletrole withoutcommitting implausibly. consistentboth with substantivetheoriesof the nature of the perfectly is. himself.anti-reductionism otherpeople.And. Reasons and Causes'.74 University of Michigan Ann Arbor. As Davidson showed. the single greatestdifficulty proveits undoing. finally.of course. it has justifiably are to rationalizebehaviourat all. SpringI989. LePoreandB. How do public language play in that symbolscome to acquire meaningand whatrole does thought withwanting in mysenseis consistent process?Secondly. USA ofPhilosophy Department PAUL A. eness of physics? foran anti-reductionist This is.549 Considerations TheRule-Following the relation between thought and language. Davidson. if in the theoryof mentalcontent. then attitudeexplanations propositional they must do so by causing it.and withthe claim thatthe graspingof certainmental contentsdepends on the graspingof others.reductionist the speech and employin interpreting successfully principles we evidently is about mentalcontent an anti-reductionism mindsof others. propositional have a genuine commitus to holdingthatcontentproperties explanations action. MI. if stein's. that propositionalattitudeexplanations are not causal explanations.thatwe shall run out of thingsto do. Loewer. attitudes-that propositional as opposed to a wish or a desire.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.