Solitary Rule-Following: T. S. Champlin

Philosophy 67 (261):285-306 (1992)

Abstract
Can a rule be followed by one person who has lived all his life in as complete isolation from other human beings as is consistent with his mere physical survival? This question divides philosophers as sharply today as it did over thirty years ago when, prompted by their reading of Wittgenstein, they first asked it. My aim here is to suggest a way of reconciling the two opposing sides in the current debate. I also hope to explain why it was that Wittgenstein did not concern himself with the complexities I am about to discuss, which none the less are, I believe, at the root of the difficulties we experience when we try to understand what Wittgenstein said about following a rule and to think clearly about this question.
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100040420
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