Rules and Rule‐Following

In Hans-Johann Glock & John Hyman (eds.), A Companion to Wittgenstein. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 390–406 (2017)
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Abstract

The concept of a rule that primarily interests Wittgenstein is one that is central to our understanding of 'what is possible before all new discoveries and inventions'. Wittgenstein's investigations of the concept of a rule run 'criss‐cross in every direction'. As Wittgenstein points out, 'any interpretation still hangs in the air along with what it interprets, and cannot give it any support'. Like our inner mental picture of a cube, what we think of as an interpretation of a rule doesn't by itself predetermine the steps that accord with the rule it supposedly interprets. In his great work, Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein aims both to uncover the sources of these difficulties and to show his readers how to overcome them. In particular, he aims to expose the emptiness of tempting philosophical explanations of the notion of grounds for correct continuation of a rule.

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Author's Profile

Gary Ebbs
Indiana University, Bloomington

Citations of this work

Rule-Following and Intentionality.Alexander Miller & Olivia Sultanescu - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Wittgenstein on following a rule.John McDowell - 1984 - Synthese 58 (March):325-364.
Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics.Michael Dummett - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (7):166--85.
Kripke on Wittgenstein on rules.Warren D. Goldfarb - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (September):471-488.

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