Journal of Philosophy 108 (5):227-254 (2011)
|Abstract||In his Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Saul Kripke develops a skeptical argument against the possibility of meaning. [...] My aim in this paper is to propose a solution to the skeptical puzzle which offers a middle way between these two approaches. This solution attempts to do justice to the way in which meaning and rule-following resemble dispositional states, while still accommodating what Kripke calls the normativity of meaning. While my approach is partly reductionist, in that it aims to reduce facts about meaning to facts that are in a sense more primitive, it does not attempt a reduction of meaning to facts conceived purely naturalistically. “Bedrock” on this approach is located below the level of facts about meaning, but as we shall see it is still irreducibly normative, and hence it remains above the level of mere behavioural responses and their psychological concomitants. My solution centers on a notion which I call “primitive normativity” and which I take to be Kantian in origin.|
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