Wilson on Kripke's Wittgenstein

George Wilson has recently defended Kripke’s well-known interpretation of Wittgenstein against the criticisms of John McDowell. Wilson claims that these criticisms rest on misunderstandings of Kripke and that, when correctly understood, Kripke’s interpretation stands up to them well. In particular, Wilson defends Kripke’s Wittgenstein against the charge of “non-factualism” about meaning. However, Wilson has not appreciated the full significance of McDowell’s criticism. I use a brief exploration of Kripke’s analogy between Wittgenstein and Hume to put this significance in sharp relief. It emerges that McDowell’s response to Kripke’s Wittgenstein account of meaning is in important respects analogous to Kant’s response to Hume’s account of causality, particularly Kant’s complaint that Hume reduced the objective necessity of the causal nexus to a merely subjective necessity. In the same way Kripke’s Wittgenstein reduces the objective normative force of meanings to a “quasi-subjective.” community-relative status
Keywords Criticism  Epistemology  Scepticism  Kripke, S  Mcdowell, J  Wilson, G  Wittgenstein
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DOI 10.2307/2653815
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