Wittgenstein, rules, and normativity

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Secky, Frank Michael
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The aim of this thesis is to examine the concept of "following a rule" as it is addressed by Wittgenstein in his 'Philosophical Investigations' SS143-242 and in certain parts of the 'Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics.' The concept of following a rule is essential for understanding certain key questions in the philosophy of mind as well as the philosophy of social science. Unfortunately, there is little consensus about how we should read Wittgenstein's treatment of rule-following. I argue that the claim that rules arise out of a regular social practice does not entail that the community determines the interpretation of rules. The thinkers who claim that the community 'does' determine the interpretation of rules, the so-called Community View theorists, are usually concerned to put a stop to possible challenges by a rule sceptic. The Community View theorists believe that the rule sceptic can challenge an individual's rule-following but not the community's rule-following. I claim, however, that the rule sceptic's worry is incoherent and so is the solution to the scepticism, the Community View. In discussing rule-scepticism and the Community View, I focus on Kripke's 'Wittgenstein': ' On Rules and Private Language.' (Abstract shortened by UMI.)