Rationality, autonomy, and obedience to linguistic norms

Synthese 198 (9):8955-8980 (2020)
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Many philosophers working today on the normativity of language have concluded that linguistic activity is not a matter of rule following. These conversations have been framed by a conception of linguistic normativity with roots in Wittgenstein and Kripke. In this paper I use conceptual resources developed by the classical American pragmatists and their descendants to argue that punctate linguistic acts are governed by rules in a sense that has been neglected in the recent literature on the normativity of language. In the course of arguing for this conclusion I defend a Kantian conception of rationality as rule-obeying activity, and I argue that this conception is compatible with a naturalistic understanding of ourselves as rational beings governed by rules of thought and action.



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Preston Stovall
University of Hradec Králové

Citations of this work

Rule-Following I: The Basic Issues.Indrek Reiland - 2024 - Philosophy Compass 19 (1):e12900.
Belief Attribution as Indirect Communication.Christopher Gauker - 2021 - In Ladislav Koreň, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Preston Stovall & Leo Townsend (eds.), Groups, Norms and Practices: Essays on Inferentialism and Collective Intentionality. Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 173-187.
Normativity between philosophy and science.Jaroslav Peregrin - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.

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