Semantic Realism and Kripke’s Wittgenstein

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1):99-122 (1998)
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Abstract

This article argues, first, that the fundamental structure of the skeptical argument in Kripke's book on Wittgenstein has been seriously misunderstood by recent commentators. Although it focuses particularly on recent commentary by John McDowell, it emphasizes that the basic misunderstandings are widely shared by other commentators. In particular, it argues that, properly construed, Kripke offers a fully coherent reading of PI #201 and related passages. This is commonly denied, and given as a reason for rejecting Kripke's reading of Wittgenstein's text. Second, it is pretty universally accepted that Kripke's Wittgenstein is a `non-factualist' about ascriptions of meaning. The article argues that, when Kripke's discussion is rightly understood and the content of `non-factualism' is clarified, there is an important sense in which the skeptical solution is not committed to non-factualism

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George Wilson
Cranfield University

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