Rules and reason

Ratio 20 (4):464-480 (2007)

Authors
Joachim Schulte
University of Zürich
Abstract
Wittgenstein's rule‐following considerations have often been discussed in terms of the debate occasioned by Kripke's interpretation of the so‐called ‘paradox’ of rule‐following. In the present paper, some of the remarks that stood in the centre of that debate are looked at from a very different perspective. First, it is suggested that these remarks are, among other things, meant to bring out that, to the extent we can speak of ‘reason’ in the context of rule‐following, it is a very restricted form of reason – one which is basically to be understood as a kind of conformity. Second, by telling part of the story of the genesis of the relevant remarks it is pointed out that there is a certain tension between the ‘liberating’ character of earlier remarks bearing on rule‐following and the ‘sinister’ side of later remarks like §§198–202, which helps explain why it took Wittgenstein such a long time to arrive at the views expressed in his rule‐following considerations.
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DOI 10.1111/rati.2007.20.issue-4
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