Wittgenstein, Kripke, and the rule following paradox

Dialogue 52 (3):103-109 (2010)
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In?201 of Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein puts forward his famous? rule - following paradox.? The paradox is how can one follow in accord with a rule? the applications of which are potentially infinite? when the instances from which one learns the rule and the instances in which one displays that one has learned the rule are only finite? How can one be certain of rule - following at all? In Wittgenstein: On Rules and Private Language, Saul Kripke concedes the skeptical position that there are no facts that we follow a rule but that there are still conditions under which we are warranted in asserting of others that they are following a rule. In this paper, I explain why Kripke?s solution to the rule - following paradox fails. I then offer an alternative.



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Adam M. Croom
University of California, Berkeley

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