Philosophical Forum 45 (1):69-88 (2014)

Greg Janzen
University of Calgary (PhD)
Saul Kripke has famously argued that the central question of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, at least in relation to Wittgenstein's discussion of meaning, is the question: what facts determine that a speaker is following a particular rule? For example, assuming that language-use is a rule-governed activity, what facts determine that the rule a speaker is complying with in her current usage of a word is equivalent to the rule she complied with in her previous usage of the word? According to Kripke, Wittgenstein articulates this problem most perspicuously in the form of a paradox, which may be regarded as a new form of philosophical scepticism. This paper takes another look at Kripke's development of the Wittgensteinian paradox, advancing the thesis that the paradox admits of a very natural straight solution, one that has not been pursued in the scholarly literature, and one that Kripke himself entertains and then quickly disqualifies. Specifically, it is argued that Kripke's hypothetical sceptic errs in his response to the objection that he operates with a faulty model of the instruction one is given regarding a particular term or expression. Once the correct model of instruction is taken into account, the argument loses its plausibility
Keywords rule-following  Kripke's Wittgenstein  the rule-following paradox
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phil.12027
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,827
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Wittgenstein’s Paradox of Ordinary Language.Barry Stocker - 2000 - Essays in Philosophy 1 (2):1-14.
The Budget-Voting Paradox.Gilbert Laffond & Jean Lainé - 2008 - Theory and Decision 64 (4):447-478.
The Paradox of the Preface.John L. Pollock - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (2):246-258.
Rule-Following and Externalism.Alexander Miller - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):127-140.
Saul Wittgenstein's Skeptical Paradox.Ronald Suter - 1986 - Philosophical Research Archives 12:183-193.
The Rule-Following Paradox and the Impossibility of Private Rule-Following.Jody Azzouni - unknown - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5.
On Heck's New Liar.Julien Murzi - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):258-269.
On the Paradox of Deontology.William H. Shaw - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:393-406.
Minimalism and the Dialetheic Challenge.B. Armour-Garb & Jc Beall - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):383 – 401.


Added to PP index

Total views
74 ( #139,769 of 2,432,769 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #114,924 of 2,432,769 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes