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Kripkenstein or Kripke's Wittgenstein is a fictional character customarily taken to be the person committed to the views of meaning, content, and rule-following presented in Saul Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language (1982). Kripkenstein first presents us with the skeptical challenge to explain what it is for expressions to have a particular meaning in a speaker's idiolect. Consider a word like '+' which is intuitively for applying the addition function or 'table' which is for talking about tables. Kripkenstein asks what makes it the case that in one's idiolect these words are indeed for doing these things. After all, we can assume that our history of past uses is entirely compatible with '+' being for applying the quaddition function (x quus y = x plus y, if x, y < 57, = 5 otherwise) or for talking about tabairs (a tabair = anything that is a table not found at the base of the Eiffel tower or a chair found there). He then presents a skeptical argument by considering a series of potential answers and showing that they don't work. For starters, he argues that the relevant fact can't consist in a speaker's having given herself instructions how to use the expression because instructions would have to be stated in language and that would merely push back the problem. Second, he argues that it can't consist in her being disposed to use the expression in certain ways (e. g. when using ‘+’ one is disposed to give the sum, or when using ‘table’ one is disposed to do so only in the presence of tables) because this fails to make sense of the fact that using it in those ways is correct. Finally, he argues that we can't invoke simplicity considerations to rule out quaddition-like candidates, nor by claiming that the relevant state is primitive. Having drawn the skeptical conclusion that nothing makes It the case that expressions have particular meanings in our idiolects, Kripkenstein presents a skeptical solution by claiming that we should construe attributions of meaning, content etc. in non-factualist terms by taking them to be justifiable or permissible when the person to whom we attribute meaning, content etc. behaves like we do.

Key works Kripkenstein's discussion of meaning, content, and rule-following is presented in Kripke 1982. Important early commentaries include Forbes 1983, Blackburn 1984, and Goldfarb 1985 which defend the dispositionalist answer, Lewis 1983 which discusses invoking simplicity considerations, and McDowell 1984 and McGinn 1984 which discuss taking the state to be primitive and the relation between Wittgenstein's and Kripkenstein's views. Important later commentaries include Boghossian 1989, Pettit 1990, and Wilson 1994. Many of these papers are collected in Miller & Wright 2002. Recent discussions include Hattiangadi 2007 and Ginsborg 2011.
Introductions  Boghossian 1989; the Introduction to Miller & Wright 2002
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  1. added 2020-05-25
    What is the Sceptical Solution?Alexander Miller - 2020 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 8 (2).
    In chapter 3 of Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Kripke’s Wittgenstein offers a “sceptical solution" to the sceptical paradox about meaning developed in chapter 2 (according to which there are no facts in virtue of which ascriptions of meaning such as “Jones means addition by ‘+’” can be true). Although many commentators have taken the sceptical solution to be broadly analogous to non-factualist theories in other domains, such as non-cognitivism or expressivism in metaethics, the nature of the sceptical solution (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-17
    Review of Approaches to Wittgenstein: Collected Papers, by Brian McGuinness and Wittgenstein, Rules and Institutions, by David Bloor. [REVIEW]Julian Friedland - 2004 - Essays in Philosophy 5 (1):164-168.
  3. added 2020-04-02
    Two Epistemological Arguments Against Two Semantic Dispositionalisms.Andrea Guardo - 2020 - Journal for the Philosophy of Language, Mind and the Arts 1 (1).
    Even though he is not very explicit about it, in “Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language” Kripke discusses two different, albeit related, skeptical theses ‒ the first one in the philosophy of mind, the second one in the metaphysics of language. Usually, what Kripke says about one thesis can be easily applied to the other one, too; however, things are not always that simple. In this paper, I discuss the case of the so-called “Normativity Argument” against semantic dispositionalism (which I (...)
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  4. added 2020-03-12
    The Problem with Descriptive Correctness.Jeffrey Kaplan - 2020 - Ratio 33 (2):79-86.
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, the normativity of meaning was thought to be more-or-less 'incontestable.' But in the last 25 years, many philosophers of mind and language have contested it in several seemingly different ways. This, however, is somewhat illusory. There is an unappreciated commonality among most anti-normativist arguments, and this commonality, I argue, poses a problem for anti-normativism. The result, however, is not a wholesale rejection of anti-normativism. Rather, an insight from the anti-normativist position can be harnessed to (...)
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  5. added 2020-02-13
    Meaning Still Not Normative: On Assessment and Guidance.Jaakko Reinikainen - forthcoming - International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    ABSTRACT Is meaning essentially normative, and what does claiming that amount to? One popular interpretation is that in virtue of their nature meanings are capable of guiding subjects in their applications of concepts, for meaning is constituted by norms. However, the guidance view has been met with criticism to the effect that if semantic norms constitute facts about meaning, then they cannot simultaneously guide subjects in their applications. In response, some normativist authors have proposed that the key sense of ‘normative’ (...)
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  6. added 2020-02-12
    A Sceptical Guide to Meaning and Rules: Defending Kripke's Wittgenstein.Jussi Haukioja - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):688-690.
  7. added 2019-08-18
    A Critique of Saul Kripke's "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language".Chrysoula Gitsoulis - 2008 - Dissertation, Graduate Center, City University of New York
    In Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Saul Kripke presents a controversial skeptical argument, which he attributes to Wittgenstein’s interlocutor in the Philosophical Investigations [PI]. The argument purports to show that there are no facts that correspond to what we mean by our words. Kripke maintains, moreover, that the conclusion of Wittgenstein’s so-called private language argument is a corollary of results Wittgenstein establishes in §§137-202 of PI concerning the topic of following-a-rule, and not the conclusion of an independently developed argument (...)
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    I—Meaning, Understanding and Normativity.Hannah Ginsborg - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):127-146.
    I defend the normativity of meaning against recent objections by arguing for a new interpretation of the ‘ought’ relevant to meaning. Both critics and defenders of the normativity thesis have understood statements about how an expression ought to be used as either prescriptive or semantic. I propose an alternative view of the ‘ought’ as conveying the primitively normative attitudes speakers must adopt towards their uses if they are to use the expression with understanding.
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    Oughts and Thoughts: Rule-Following and the Normativity of Content, by Anandi Hattiangadi.: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Hannah Ginsborg - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):1175-1186.
    Anandi Hattiangadi packs a lot of argument into this lucid, well-informed and lively examination of the meaning scepticism which Kripke ascribes to Wittgenstein. Her verdict on the success of the sceptical considerations is mixed. She concludes that they are sufficient to rule out all accounts of meaning and mental content proposed so far. But she believes that they fail to constitute, as Kripke supposed they did, a fully general argument against the possibility of meaning or content. Even though we are (...)
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  10. added 2019-06-06
    A Reductio of Kripke-Wittgenstein's Objections to Dispositionalism About Meaning.Jakob Hohwy - 2003 - Minds and Machines 13 (2):257-268.
    A central part of Kripke's influential interpretation of Wittgenstein's sceptical argument about meaning is the rejection of dispositional analyses of what it is for a word to mean what it does. In this paper I show that Kripke's arguments prove too much: if they were right, they would preclude not only the idea that dispositional properties can make statements about the meanings of words true, but also the idea that dispositional properties can make true statements about paradigmatic dispositional properties such (...)
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    Wittgenstein und Kripke über das Folgen von Regeln.Raúl Meléndez - 2000 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 58 (1):419-465.
    Wittgenstein entwickelt im § 201 dQX Philosophischen Untersuchungen ein skeptisches Paradox über das Folgen von Regeln. Entgegen der einflußreiche Deutung Kripkes, der für das Paradox eine „skeptische Lösung" vorschlägt, wird eine Deutung vorgezogen, die davon ausgeht, daß Wittgenstein das Paradox nicht löst, sondern es ausräumt. Diese Deutung hat den Vorzug, daß sie Wittgenstein grundwie dies implizit Kripke un andere tun, sondern trägt Wittgensteins „therapeutischen Zielen“ Rechnung, wo es vornehmlich darum geht, philosophische Mißverständnisse und Verwirrungen auszuräumen, anstatt traditionell philosophische Probleme aufzuwerfen (...)
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  12. added 2019-06-06
    On Misinterpreting Kripke’s Wittgenstein.Alex Byrne - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2):339-343.
    Saul Kripke’s much discussed Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language has, I believe, been widely misinterpreted. The purpose of this note is to offer a correction. As it happens, on my reading of Kripke’s text Kripke’s Wittgenstein begins to look recognisably like Wittgenstein himself. But I shall not be concerned here with the question of whether Kripke’s Wittgenstein is Wittgenstein. My only aim is to correct the misinterpretation.
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  13. added 2019-06-06
    Critical Notice: Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1985 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):103-109.
  14. added 2019-06-06
    Wittgenstein. Understanding and Meaning. [REVIEW]R. S. - 1981 - Review of Metaphysics 34 (4):776-778.
    The peripeties of academic philosophy have been accelerated to the point at which it is now fashionable to refer to a "Wittgenstein revival." This implies that interest in Wittgenstein was only a short while ago in remission. Whether or not this is true, the present volume portends a new stage in Wittgenstein exegesis, somewhat reminiscent of the scholastic commentaries on Aquinas or the late classical commentaries on Aristotle. Two thoughts spring directly to the reviewer’s mind. Is the Philosophical Investigations actually (...)
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  15. added 2019-06-05
    Kripkenstein Meets the Chinese Room: Looking for the Place of Meaning From a Natural Point of View.Michael Kober - 1998 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):317-332.
    The discussion between Searle and the Churchlands over whether or not symbolmanipulating computers generate semantics will be confronted both with the rulesceptical considerations of Kripke/wittgenstein and with Wittgenstein's privatelanguage argument in order to show that the discussion focuses on the wrong place: meaning does not emerge in the brain. That a symbol means something should rather be conceived as a social fact, depending on a mutual imputation of linguistic competence of the participants of a linguistic practice to one another. The (...)
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  16. added 2019-05-31
    Unfollowed Rules and the Normativity of Content.Eric V. Tracy - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Foundational theories of mental content seek to identify the conditions under which a mental representation expresses, in the mind of a particular thinker, a particular content. Normativists endorse the following general sort of foundational theory of mental content: A mental representation r expresses concept C for agent S just in case S ought to use r in conformity with some particular pattern of use associated with C. In response to Normativist theories of content, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin and Åsa Wikforss propose a (...)
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  17. added 2019-04-22
    Davidson’s Answer to Kripke’s Sceptic.Olivia Sultanescu & Claudine Verheggen - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (2):8-28.
    According to the sceptic Saul Kripke envisages in his celebrated book on Wittgenstein on rules and private language, there are no facts about an individual that determine what she means by any given expression. If there are no such facts, the question then is, what justifies the claim that she does use expressions meaningfully? Kripke’s answer, in a nutshell, is that she by and large uses her expressions in conformity with the linguistic standards of the community she belongs to. While (...)
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  18. added 2019-03-17
    Semantic Dispositionalism Without Exceptions.Arvid Båve - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1751-1771.
    Semantic dispositionalism is roughly the view that meaning a certain thing by a word, or possessing a certain concept, consists in being disposed to do something, e.g., infer a certain way. Its main problem is that it seems to have so many and disparate exceptions. People can fail to infer as required due to lack of logical acumen, intoxication, confusion, deviant theories, neural malfunctioning, and so on. I present a theory stating possession conditions of concepts that are counterfactuals, rather than (...)
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  19. added 2019-02-11
    Anti-Normativism Evaluated.Ulf Hlobil - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):376-395.
    I argue that recent attempts to show that meaning and content are not normative fail. The two most important arguments anti-normativists have presented are what I call the ‘argument from constitution’ and the ‘argument from guidance’. Both of these arguments suffer from the same basic problem: they overlook the possibility of focusing on assessability by norms, rather than compliance with norms or guidance by norms. Moreover, I argue that the anti-normativists arguments fail even if we ignore this basic problem. Thus, (...)
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  20. added 2019-02-05
    Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s Sceptical Paradox: A Trilemma for Davidson.Ali Hossein Khani - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (1):21–37.
    Davidson’s later philosophy of language has been inspired by Wittgenstein’s Investigations, but Davidson by no means sympathizes with the sceptical problem and solution Kripke attributes to Wittgenstein. Davidson criticizes the sceptical argument for relying on the rule-following conception of meaning, which is, for him, a highly problematic view. He also casts doubt on the plausibility of the sceptical solution as unjustifiably bringing in shared practices of a speech community. According to Davidson, it is rather success in mutual interpretation that explains (...)
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  21. added 2018-08-12
    Meaning Relativism and Subjective Idealism.Andrea Guardo - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    The paper discusses an objection, put forward by - among others - John McDowell, to Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s non-factualist and relativist view of semantic discourse. The objection goes roughly as follows: while it is usually possible to be a relativist about a given domain of discourse without being a relativist about anything else, relativism about semantic discourse entails global relativism, which in turn entails subjective idealism, which we can reasonably assume to be false. The paper’s first section sketches Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s ideas (...)
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  22. added 2018-07-25
    Magritte Meets Kripkenstein.Tomas Hribek - 1997 - Umění/Art 45 (3-4):240-258.
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  23. added 2018-04-09
    The Goodman-Kripke Paradox.Robert Kowalenko - 2003 - Dissertation, King's College London
    The Kripke/Wittgenstein paradox and Goodman’s riddle of induction can be construed as problems of multiple redescription, where the relevant sceptical challenge is to provide factual grounds justifying the description we favour. A choice of description or predicate, in turn, is tantamount to the choice of a curve over a set of data, a choice apparently governed by implicitly operating constraints on the relevant space of possibilities. Armed with this analysis of the two paradoxes, several realist solutions of Kripke’s paradox are (...)
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  24. added 2018-03-12
    Seguire una regola.Andrea Guardo - 2018 - Milano-Udine: Mimesis.
    An introduction to the debate on Kripke's Wittgenstein's rule-following paradox.
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  25. added 2018-03-04
    Hoffman on Kripke’s Wittgenstein.George Rudebusch - 1986 - Philosophy Research Archives 12:177-182.
    Paul Hoffman argues that Kripke’s Wittgenstein fails in his solution to his own sceptical paradox. I argue that Hoffman fails to see the importance for Kripke’s Wittgenstein of the distinction between agreement in fact and judged agreement. Hoffman is right that no solution to the sceptical paradox can be based on agreement in fact, but the solution of Kripke’s Wittgenstein depends upon judged agreement. An interpretation is given: by ‘judged agreement’ Kripke’s Wittgenstein does not mean understanding oneself to judge agreement (...)
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  26. added 2018-02-17
    Simplicity and Elegance in Millikan’s Account of Productivity: Reply to Martinez.Brian Leahy - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):503-516.
    This paper responds to a problem, raised by Martinez, for Millikan’s explanation of the interpretability of novel signs in terms of mapping functions. I argue that Martinez’s critique is a logically weakened version of Kripke’s skeptical argument about rule following. Responding to Martinez requires two things. First, we must correctly understand the role of simplicity and elegance in choosing the correct mapping function for a signaling system. Second, we need to understand that mapping functions are descriptions of the features that (...)
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  27. added 2018-02-17
    Wilson on Kripke's Wittgenstein.Michael Kremer - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):571-584.
    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. (...)
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  28. added 2018-02-04
    Yet Another Skeptical Solution.Andrea Guardo - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):117-129.
    The paper puts forward a new skeptical solution to Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s rule-following paradox, a solution which revolves around the idea that human communication does not require meaning facts - at least as defined by Kripke. After a brief discussion of the paradox, I explain why I think that Kripkenstein’s solution needs revision and argue that the main goal of a skeptical solution to the rule-following paradox should be that of showing that communication does not require meaning. After that, I offer (...)
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  29. added 2017-12-24
    A Plea for the Metaphysics of Meaning.Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press.
  30. added 2017-10-01
    The Qua-Problem and Meaning Scepticism.Samuel Douglas - 2018 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 17:71–78.
    When considering potential solutions to meaning-scepticism, Kripke (1982) did not consider a causal-theoretic approach. Kusch (2006) has argued that this is due to the qua-problem. I consider Kusch’s criticism of Maddy (1984) and McGinn (1984) before offering a different way to solve the qua-problem, one that is not susceptible to sceptical attack. If this solution is successful, at least one barrier to using a causal theory to refute Kripke’s scepticism is removed.
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  31. added 2017-09-15
    Kripke on Wittgenstein on Regulation.Virgil C. Aldrich - 1987 - Philosophy 62 (241):375 - 384.
    Kripke's own view of the 'inner life' as comprised of '"qualia"' that have no 'natural "external" manifestation' leads him into misinterpreting wittgenstein's denials on this count. so kripke gives wittgenstein's account a paradoxical and sceptical cast which misrepresents it, making it look as if it called for a sceptical solution and a 'warranted assertibility' theory of truth. but wittgenstein was making sport of the 'inner-outer' (subjective-objective) distinction with the rapier of his suggestion that psychological talk is not regulated by the (...)
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  32. added 2017-02-12
    A Sceptical Guide to Meaning and Rules.M. Kusch & K. Vermeir - 2008 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 70 (3):616.
  33. added 2017-02-11
    Saul Kripke: Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1. [REVIEW]Stephen Yablo - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (4):221-229.
  34. added 2017-02-03
    Review of G. W. Fitch, Saul Kripke and Christopher Hughes, Kripke. [REVIEW]David Robb - 2006 - Philosophical Books 47:165-8.
  35. added 2017-02-02
    Wittgenstein and the Life of Signs.Jim Hopkins - 2004 - In Max Kölbel & Bernhard Weiss (eds.), Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance. Routledge.
    Both Wittgenstein's account of following a rule and his private language argument turn on the notion of interpretation.
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  36. added 2017-01-30
    Rule-Following, Meaning Constitution and Enaction.Patrizio Lo Presti - 2015 - Human Affairs 25 (1):110-120.
    The paper submits a criticism of the standard formulation of Wittgenstein’s rule-following paradox. According to the standard formulation, influenced by Kripke, the paradox invites us to consider what mental or behavioral items could constitute meaning. The author proposes instead an enactivist understanding of the paradox. On this account there is no essential gap between mental items and behavioral patterns such that the paradox enforces a choice between meaning being constituted either internally ‘in mind,’ or externally ‘in behavior.’ The paper begins (...)
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  37. added 2017-01-30
    Exposition of Two Forms of Semantic Skepticism: Wittgenstein’s Paradox of Rule Following and Kripke’s Semantic Paradox.Ken Shigeta - 2014 - Filozofija I Društvo 25 (1):127-143.
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  38. added 2017-01-30
    Saul Kripke.G. W. Fitch - 2004 - Routledge.
    Saul Kripke is one of the most original and creative philosophers writing today. His work has had a tremendous impact on the direction that philosophy has taken in the last thirty years and continues to dominate some of its most fundamental aspects. Given Kripke's importance it is perhaps surprising that there is no introduction to his philosophy available to the general student. This book fills that gap. As much of Kripke's work is highly technical, the book's central aim is to (...)
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  39. added 2017-01-30
    Facts, Truth Conditions, and the Skeptical Solution to the Rule-Following Paradox.Scott Soames - 1998 - Noûs 32 (S12):313-348.
  40. added 2017-01-29
    Philosophical Troubles, by Saul Kripke.Graeme Forbes - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):927-933.
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  41. added 2017-01-29
    Essay Fifteen. Skepticism About Meaning: Indeterminacy, Normativity, and the Rule-Following Paradox.Scott Soames - 2009 - In Philosophical Essays, Volume 2: The Philosophical Significance of Language. Princeton University Press. pp. 385-415.
  42. added 2017-01-29
    Essay Sixteen. Facts, Truth Conditions, and the Skeptical Solution to the Rule-Following Paradox.Scott Soames - 2009 - In Philosophical Essays, Volume 2: The Philosophical Significance of Language. Princeton University Press. pp. 416-456.
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  43. added 2017-01-29
    Über Das Kripke-Schema Und Abzählbare Teilmengen.Peter Schuster & JÚlia Zappe - 2008 - Logique Et Analyse 51.
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  44. added 2017-01-28
    A Perspective on the Philosophy of Saul Kripke.David Henry Helman - 1983 - Dissertation, Harvard University
    Various critiques of philosophy have focused on the failure of its practitioners to come to any sort of consensus. The thesis attempts to account for this phenomenon in recent philosophy of language by seeing Kripke, Quine, Austin, and Wittgenstein as taking as their data different aspects and descriptional levels of our linguistic practices. On this view, Kripke has made a positive philosophical contribution by finding localized structures in certain semantic areas . His essentialism, while defensible, primarily shows us the lack (...)
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  45. added 2017-01-27
    Kripke's Case: Some Remarks on Rules, Their Interpretation and Application.Jes Bjarup - 1988 - Rechtstheorie 19:39-49.
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  46. added 2017-01-25
    About Kripke's Schema and Countable Subsets.Peters Schuster & Julia Zappe - 2008 - Logique Et Analyse 204:317-329.
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  47. added 2017-01-23
    Incarnating Kripke’s Skepticism About Meaning.Eisuke Sakakibara - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-291.
    Although Kripke’s skepticism leads to the conclusion that meaning does not exist, his argument relies upon the supposition that more than one interpretation of words is consistent with linguistic evidence. Relying solely on metaphors, he assumes that there is a multiplicity of possible interpretations without providing any strict proof. In his book The Taming of the True, Neil Tennant pointed out that there are serious obstacles to this thesis and concluded that the skeptic’s nonstandard interpretations are “will o’ wisps.” In (...)
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  48. added 2017-01-23
    Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language.Richard Eldridge - 1984 - Review of Metaphysics 37 (4):859-861.
    Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language is very much a work on Wittgenstein's epistemology, not on his philosophy of mind. Kripke focuses on Wittgenstein's account, principally set out in sections 1-242 of Philosophical Investigations, of our grasp of concepts and our ability to apply them; he discusses Wittgenstein's views about such topics as imagination, sensations, and consciousness only in passing as they bear on the former topic.
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  49. added 2017-01-23
    Wittgenstein’s Definition of Meaning as Use.W. A. F. - 1972 - Review of Metaphysics 26 (1):160-161.
    The purpose of this book is to examine and explicate a definition given in Philosophical Investigations. The definition of the meaning of a word is that "the meaning of a word is its use in the language." Hallett understands this as a definition in the strict sense of the word. In Chapter I, the author looks to the Tractatus for its treatment of the picture theory of meaning and the Bedeutung/sinn distinction. The conclusion which he pulls from the early work (...)
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  50. added 2017-01-22
    Computationalism and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox.Nenad Mi??Evi? - 1996 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 96:215 - 229.
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