Rule-following and the objectivity of proof

In Annalisa Coliva & Eva Picardi (eds.), Wittgenstein Today. Il poligrafo. pp. 185--200 (2004)
Authors
Cesare Cozzo
Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Abstract
Ideas on meaning, rules and mathematical proofs abound in Wittgenstein’s writings. The undeniable fact that they are present together, sometimes intertwined in the same passage of Philosophical Investigations or Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, does not show, however, that the connection between these ideas is necessary or inextricable. The possibility remains, and ought to be checked, that they can be plausibly and consistently separated. I am going to examine two views detectable in Wittgenstein’s works: one about proofs, the other about meaning and rules. The first is the denial of the objectivity of proof. The second is a conception of meaning stemming from the rule-following considerations. I shall argue that, though Wittgenstein seems to conjoin the two views, they can be, and should be, separated1.
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