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The individual strikes back

Synthese 58 (March):281-302 (1984)

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  1. Towards a New Kind of Semantic Normativity.Claudine Verheggen - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):410-424.
    Hannah Ginsborg has recently offered a new account of normativity, according to which normative attitudes are essential to the meaningful use of language. The kind of normativity she has in mind –– not semantic but ‘primitive’ — is supposed to help us to avoid the pitfalls of both non-reductionist and reductive dispositionalist theories of meaning. For, according to her, it enables us both to account for meaning in non-semantic terms, which non-reductionism cannot do, and to make room for the normativity (...)
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  • Wittgenstein and Redundant Truth.Andrew L. McFarland - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1515-1525.
    In the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein is sometimes claimed to hold a redundancy theory of truth. The main evidence to support this view, however, comes from a single passage, number 136, which has been misinterpreted. In this essay I argue for an alternative interpretation of the critical passage in question. The purpose behind Wittgenstein’s remarks is not to provide a general theory of truth, per se. Rather, Wittgenstein uses the section as a way to introduce his notion of fit, a notion (...)
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  • The Norms of Thought: Are They Social?Pascal Engel - unknown
    A commonplace in contemporary philosophy is that mental content has normative properties. A number of writers associate this view to the idea that the normativity of content is essentially connected to its social character. I agree with the first thesis, but disagree with the second. The paper examines three kinds of views according to which the norms of thought and content are social: Wittgenstein's rule following considerations, Davidson's triangulation argument, and Brandom's inferential pragmatics, and criticizes each. It is argued that (...)
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  • Why One’s Practical Reasons Are Not Just One’s Own Private Affair.Stefano Bertea - 2017 - Philosophical Inquiry 41 (1):63-85.
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  • Understanding the Social Constitution of the Human Individual.Jo-Jo Koo - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
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  • Practice and Sociality.Jo-Jo Koo - 2005 - In Georg W. Bertram, Stefan Blank, Christophe Laudou & David Lauer (eds.), Intersubjectivité et pratique: Contributions à l’étude des pragmatismes dans la philosophie contemporaine. L'Harmattan. pp. 57-74.
    In recent years a growing number of philosophers in the analytic tradition have focused their attention on the significance of human sociality. An older point of departure of analysis, which actually precedes this current tide of accounts of sociality, has revolved around the debate between “holism” and “individualism” in the philosophy of the human or social sciences and social theory. The more recent point of departure for various accounts of sociality has centered on the nature of conventions, social groups, shared (...)
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  • Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Löwenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
    What does it mean to know how to do something? This book develops a comprehensive account of know-how, a crucial epistemic goal for all who care about getting things right, not only with respect to the facts, but also with respect to practice. It proposes a novel interpretation of the seminal work of Gilbert Ryle, according to which know-how is a competence, a complex ability to do well in an activity in virtue of guidance by an understanding of what it (...)
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  • Unfollowed Rules and the Normativity of Content.Eric V. Tracy - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Foundational theories of mental content seek to identify the conditions under which a mental representation expresses, in the mind of a particular thinker, a particular content. Normativists endorse the following general sort of foundational theory of mental content: A mental representation r expresses concept C for agent S just in case S ought to use r in conformity with some particular pattern of use associated with C. In response to Normativist theories of content, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin and Åsa Wikforss propose a (...)
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  • Semantic Dispositionalism Without Exceptions.Arvid Båve - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1751-1771.
    Semantic dispositionalism is roughly the view that meaning a certain thing by a word, or possessing a certain concept, consists in being disposed to do something, e.g., infer a certain way. Its main problem is that it seems to have so many and disparate exceptions. People can fail to infer as required due to lack of logical acumen, intoxication, confusion, deviant theories, neural malfunctioning, and so on. I present a theory stating possession conditions of concepts that are counterfactuals, rather than (...)
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  • The Problem with Descriptive Correctness.Jeffrey Kaplan - 2020 - Ratio 33 (2):79-86.
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, the normativity of meaning was thought to be more-or-less 'incontestable.' But in the last 25 years, many philosophers of mind and language have contested it in several seemingly different ways. This, however, is somewhat illusory. There is an unappreciated commonality among most anti-normativist arguments, and this commonality, I argue, poses a problem for anti-normativism. The result, however, is not a wholesale rejection of anti-normativism. Rather, an insight from the anti-normativist position can be harnessed to (...)
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  • Killing Kripkenstein's Monster.Jared Warren - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):257-289.
    Here I defend dispositionalism about meaning and rule-following from Kripkenstein's infamous anti-dispositionalist arguments. The problems of finitude, error, and normativity are all addressed. The general lesson I draw is that Kripkenstein's arguments trade on an overly simplistic version of dispositionalism.
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  • Primitive Normativity and Skepticism About Rules.Hannah Ginsborg - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (5):227-254.
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  • World and Subject: Themes From McDowell.Tony Cheng - 2008 - Dissertation, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
    This essay is an inquiry into John McDowell’s thinking on ‘subjectivity.’ The project consists in two parts. On the one hand, I will discuss how McDowell understands and responds to the various issues he is tackling; on the other, I will approach relevant issues concerning subjectivity by considering different aspects of it: a subject as a perceiver, knower, thinker, speaker, agent, person and (self-) conscious being in the world. The inquiry begins by identifying and resolving a tension generated by the (...)
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  • Color, Externalism, and Switch Cases.David Bain - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):335-362.
    I defend externalism about color experiences and color thoughts, which I argue color objectivism requires. Externalists face the following question: would a subject’s wearing inverting lenses eventually change the color content of, for instance, those visual experiences the subject reports with “red”? From the work of Ned Block, David Velleman, Paul Boghossian, Michael Tye, and Fiona Macpherson, I extract problems facing those who answer “Yes” and problems facing those who answer “No.” I show how these problems can be overcome, leaving (...)
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  • Rule-Following, Meaning, and Primitive Normativity.Alexander Miller - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):735-760.
    This paper explores the prospects for using the notion of a primitive normative attitude in responding to the sceptical argument about meaning developed in chapter 2 of Saul Kripke’s Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. It takes as its stalking-horse the response to Kripke’s Wittgenstein developed in a recent series of important works by Hannah Ginsborg. The paper concludes that Ginsborg’s attempted solution fails for a number of reasons: it depends on an inadequate response to Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s ‘finitude’ objection to (...)
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  • Rule Following: A Pedestrian Approach.Masahiro Yamada - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):283-311.
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  • Foundationalism, Coherentism, and Rule-Following Skepticism.Henry Jackman - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (1):25-41.
    Semantic holists view what one's terms mean as function of all of one's usage. Holists will thus be coherentists about semantic justification: showing that one's usage of a term is semantically justified involves showing how it coheres with the rest of one's usage. Semantic atomists, by contrast, understand semantic justification in a foundationalist fashion. Saul Kripke has, on Wittgenstein's behalf, famously argued for a type of skepticism about meaning and semantic justification. However, Kripke's argument has bite only if one understands (...)
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  • Davidson’s Answer to Kripke’s Sceptic.Olivia Sultanescu & Claudine Verheggen - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (2):8-28.
    According to the sceptic Saul Kripke envisages in his celebrated book on Wittgenstein on rules and private language, there are no facts about an individual that determine what she means by any given expression. If there are no such facts, the question then is, what justifies the claim that she does use expressions meaningfully? Kripke’s answer, in a nutshell, is that she by and large uses her expressions in conformity with the linguistic standards of the community she belongs to. While (...)
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  • Inside and Outside Language: Stroud's Nonreductionism About Meaning.Hannah Ginsborg - 2011 - In Jason Bridges, Niko Kolodny & Wai-Hung Wong (eds.), The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Essays for Barry Stroud. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that Stroud's nonreductionism about meaning is insufficiently motivated. First, given that he rejects the assumption that grasp of an expression's meaning guides or instructs us in its use, he has no reason to accept Kripke's arguments against dispositionalism or related reductive views. Second, his argument that reductive views are impossible because they attempt to explain language “from outside” rests on an equivocation between two senses in which an explanation of language can be from outside language. I offer a (...)
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  • How Sceptical is Kripke's 'Sceptical Solution'.F. Davies - 1998 - Philsophia 26 (1-2):119-40.
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  • Colour Irrealism and the Formation of Colour Concepts.Jonathan Ellis - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):53-73.
    According to colour irrealism, material objects do not have colour; they only appear to have colour. The appeal of this view, prominent among philosophers and scientists alike, stems in large part from the conviction that scientific explanations of colour facts do not ascribe colour to material objects. To explain why objects appear to have colour, for instance, we need only appeal to surface reflectance properties, properties of light, the neurophysiology of observers, etc. Typically attending colour irrealism is the error theory (...)
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  • Winch's Double-Edged Idea of a Social Science.Philip Pettit - 2000 - History of the Human Sciences 13 (1):63-77.
    Peter Winch’s 1958 book The Idea of a Social Science contains two distinguishable sets of theses, one set bearing on the individual-level understanding of human beings, the other on the society-level understanding of the regularities and institutions to which human beings give rise. The first set of claims is persuasive and significant but the second is a mixed bunch: none is well established and only some are sound.
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  • Minimalism, Psychological Reality, Meaning and Use.Henry Jackman - 2007 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
    A growing number of philosophers and linguists have argued that many, if not most, terms in our language should be understood as semantically context sensitive. In opposition to this trend, Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore defend a view they call "Semantic Minimalism", which holds that there are virtually no semantically context sensitive expressions in English once you get past the standard list of indexicals and demonstratives such as "I", "you", "this", and "that". While minimalism strikes many as obviously false, it (...)
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  • Normativity and Mathematics: A Wittgensteinian Approach to the Study of Number.J. Robert Loftis - 1999 - Dissertation, Northwestern University
    I argue for the Wittgensteinian thesis that mathematical statements are expressions of norms, rather than descriptions of the world. An expression of a norm is a statement like a promise or a New Year's resolution, which says that someone is committed or entitled to a certain line of action. A expression of a norm is not a mere description of a regularity of human behavior, nor is it merely a descriptive statement which happens to entail a norms. The view can (...)
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  • Heidegger's Logico-Semantic Strikeback.Alberto Voltolini - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22:19-38.
    In (1959), Carnap famously attacked Heidegger for having constructed an insane metaphysics based on a misconception of both the logical form and the semantics of ordinary language. In what follows, it will be argued that, once one appropriately (i.e., in a Russellian fashion) reads Heidegger’s famous sentence that should paradigmatically exemplify such a misconception, i.e., “the nothing nothings”, there is nothing either logically or semantically wrong with it. The real controversy as to how that sentence has to be evaluated—not as (...)
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  • Die Aussagekraft wirklichkeitsferner Gedankenexperimente für Theorien personaler Identität.Marc Andree Weber - 2017 - In Andreas Oberprantacher & Anne Siegetsleitner (eds.), Mensch sein – Fundament, Imperativ oder Floskel Beiträge zum 10. Kongress der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Philosophie. Innsbruck, Austria: pp. 493-503.
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  • « Suivre une règle » chez Wittgenstein : un paradoxe sceptique pour Saul Kripke.Paul Bernier - 1988 - Philosophiques 15 (2):390-404.
    Dans cet article, nous considérons un paradoxe sceptique que Saul Kripke a attribué à Wittgenstein. Nous critiquons la solution directe proposée par Colin McGinn , qui a recours à la théorie causale de la référence, et nous montrons pourquoi cette solution n'est pas satisfaisante. La solution sceptique que Kripke prête à Wittgenstein est ensuite discutée à la lumière de nos considérations sur la théorie causale, ce qui nous amène à constater qu'elle est aussi insuffisante. Nous concluons en montrant que nous (...)
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  • Enciclopédia de Termos Lógico-Filosóficos.João Branquinho, Desidério Murcho & Nelson Gonçalves Gomes (eds.) - 2006 - São Paulo, SP, Brasil: Martins Fontes.
    Esta enciclopédia abrange, de uma forma introdutória mas desejavelmente rigorosa, uma diversidade de conceitos, temas, problemas, argumentos e teorias localizados numa área relativamente recente de estudos, os quais tem sido habitual qualificar como «estudos lógico-filosóficos». De uma forma apropriadamente genérica, e apesar de o território teórico abrangido ser extenso e de contornos por vezes difusos, podemos dizer que na área se investiga um conjunto de questões fundamentais acerca da natureza da linguagem, da mente, da cognição e do raciocínio humanos, bem (...)
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  • Phenomenal Privacy, Similarity and Communicability.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    The idea that there are features of or in our conscious experience that are, in some important sense, private has both a long history in philosophy and a large measure of intuitive attraction. Once this idea is in place, it will be very natural to assume that one can think and judge about one’s own private features. And it is then only a small step to the idea that we might communicate such thoughts and judgements about our respective private features (...)
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  • On Epistemic Conceptions of Meaning: Use, Meaning and Normativity.Daniel Whiting - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):416-434.
    A number of prominent philosophers advance the following ideas: (1) Meaning is use. (2) Meaning is an intrinsically normative notion. Call (1) the use thesis, hereafter UT, and (2) the normativity thesis, hereafter NT. They come together in the view that for a linguistic expression to have meaning is for there to be certain proprieties governing its employment.1 These ideas are often associated with a third.
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  • The Nyaya Dualist Tradition: A Comparative Analysis.Anirudh Seth - unknown
    In this paper, I hope to i. briefly explain Nyaya dualist ontology and identify the implications involved in accepting this view, ii. provide a comparison of Nyaya dualism to Cartesian dualism, and iii. provide an analysis of Nyaya dualism vis-à-vis some contemporary non-dualist theories of mind, in an attempt to gauge the viability of Nyaya Dualism as a theory of mind. I will briefly identify the context and history of this school in Indian Philosophy and will attempt to describe how (...)
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  • Recent Work on Wittgenstein, 1980–1990. [REVIEW]David G. Stern - 1994 - Synthese 98 (3):415-458.
    While Wittgenstein wrote unconventionally and denied that he was advancing philosophical theses, most of his interpreters have attributed conventional philosophical theses to him. But the best recent interpretations have taken the form of his writing and his distinctive way of doing philosophy seriously. The 1980s have also seen the emergence of a body of work on Wittgenstein that makes extensive use of the unpublished Wittgenstein papers. This work on Wittgenstein's method and his way of writing are the main themes of (...)
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  • Simple Tasks, Abstractions, and Semantic Dispositionalism.Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):453-470.
    According to certain kinds of semantic dispositionalism, what an agent means by her words is grounded by her dispositions to complete simple tasks. This sort of position is often thought to avoid the finitude problem raised by Kripke against simpler forms of dispositionalism. The traditional objection is that, since words possess indefinite (or infinite) extensions, and our dispositions to use words are only finite, those dispositions prove inadequate to serve as ground for what we mean by our words. I argue (...)
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  • Kripke's Finiteness Objection to Dispositionalist Theories of Meaning.Jussi Haukioja - 2004 - In M. E. Reicher & J. C. Marek (eds.), Experience and Analysis: Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.
    It is often thought that Blackburn and Boghossian have provided an effective reply to the finiteness objection to dispositional theories of meaning, presented by Kripke's Wittgenstein. In this paper I distinguish two possible readings of the sceptical demand for meaning-constitutive facts. The demand can be formulated in one of two ways: an A-question or a B-question. Any theory of meaning will give one of these explanatory priority over the other. I will then argue that the standard reply only works if (...)
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  • Boghossian, Miller and Lewis on Dispositional Theories of Meaning.Denis McManus - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (4):393-399.
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  • What is the Normativity of Meaning?Daniel Whiting - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):219-238.
    There has been much debate over whether to accept the claim that meaning is normative. One obstacle to making progress in that debate is that it is not always clear what the claim amounts to. In this paper, I try to resolve a dispute between those who advance the claim concerning how it should be understood. More specifically, I critically examine two competing conceptions of the normativity of meaning, rejecting one and defending the other. Though the paper aims to settle (...)
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  • The Normativity of Meaning Defended.Daniel Whiting - 2007 - Analysis 67 (2):133-140.
    Meaning, according to a significant number of philosophers, is an intrinsically normative notion.1 For this reason, it is suggested, meaning is not conducive to a naturalistic explanation. In this paper, I shall not address whether this is indeed so. Nor shall I present arguments in support of the normativity thesis (see Glock 2005; Kripke 1982). Instead, I shall examine and respond to two forceful objections recently (and independently) raised against it by Boghossian (2005), Hattiangadi (2006) and Miller (2006). Although I (...)
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  • Is Solitary Rule-Following Possible?Jussi Haukioja - 2005 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):131-154.
    The aim of this paper is to discover whether or not a solitary individual, a human being isolated from birth, could become a rule-follower. The argumentation against this possibility rests on the claim that such an isolate could not become aware of a normative standard, with which her actions could agree or disagree. As a consequence, theorists impressed by this argumentation adopt a view on which the normativity of rules arises from corrective practices in which agents engage in a community. (...)
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  • Semantic Normativity and Naturalism.José L. Zalabardo - 2012 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum International.
    The paper addresses the question whether semantic naturalism is undermined by the thought that semantic concepts are normative.
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  • Expressivism, Deflationism and Correspondence.Patricia Marino - 2005 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (2):171-191.
    On an expressivist view, ethical claims are not fact stating; instead they serve the alternative function of expressing our feelings, attitudes and values. On a deflationary view, truth is not a property with a nature to be analyzed, but merely a grammatical device to aid us in endorsing sentences. Views on the relationship between expressivism and deflationism vary widely: they are compatible; they are incompatible; they are a natural pair; they doom one another. Here I explain some of these views, (...)
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  • Pyrrhonian and Naturalistic Themes in the Final Writings of Wittgenstein.Indrani Bhattacharjee - unknown
    The following inquiry pursues two interlinked aims. The first is to understand Wittgenstein's idea of non-foundational certainty in the context of a reading of On Certainty that emphasizes its Pyrrhonian elements. The second is to read Wittgenstein's remarks on idealism/radical skepticism in On Certainty in parallel with the discussion of rule-following in Philosophical Investigations in order to demonstrate an underlying similarity of philosophical concerns and methods. I argue that for the later Wittgenstein, what is held certain in a given context (...)
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  • Correct Language Use: How Syntactic and Normative Constraints Converge.Florian Demont - unknown
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  • The Argument from Normativity against Dispositional Analyses of Meaning.Andrea Guardo - 2009 - In Volker A. Munz, Klaus Puhl & Joseph Wang (eds.), Language and World – Papers of the XXXII International Wittgenstein Symposium. Kirchberg am Wechsel: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. pp. 163-165.
    In his well-known essay on Wittgenstein, Saul Kripke maintains that dispositional analyses of meaning cannot work mainly because the concept of disposition is descriptive, whereas that of meaning is normative. Unfortunately, neither Kripke nor his followers have ever spelled out this “argument from normativity” in full detail. As a result, the argument does not have good press. This paper offers an explicit version of the argument. In particular, (1) I try to explain what the claim that meaning is normative amounts (...)
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  • A Language for Ontological Nihilism.Catharine Diehl - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:971-996.
    According to ontological nihilism there are, fundamentally, no individuals. Both natural languages and standard predicate logic, however, appear to be committed to a picture of the world as containing individual objects. This leads to what I call the \emph{expressibility challenge} for ontological nihilism: what language can the ontological nihilist use to express her account of how matters fundamentally stand? One promising suggestion is for the nihilist to use a form of \emph{predicate functorese}, a language developed by Quine. This proposal faces (...)
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  • Los argumentos del lenguaje privado. Notas para la reconstrucción de una controversia.Pedro Karczmarczyk - 2012 - Fenomenologia. Diálogos Possíveis Campinas: Alínea/Goiânia: Editora da Puc Goiás 92:73-124.
    Intentaremos reconstruir la controversia acerca de la posibilidad de un lenguaje privado. Analizamos primero las posiciones “epistemológicas” (Malcolm y Fogelin), mostrando sus fallos. Luego analizamos la versión “semántica” (Kenny y Tugendhat) encontrándolas igualmente fallidas. La crítica de Barry Stroud a los argumentos trascendentales como argumentos antiescépticos nos permite discernir el presupuesto común que debilita las posiciones anteriores. Asimismo, la reconstrucción permite apreciar mejor la manera en la que la versión de Kripke evita comprometerse con este presupueto. Argumentamos que esta versión (...)
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  • Rule-Following as Coordination: A Game-Theoretic Approach.Giacomo Sillari - 2013 - Synthese 190 (5):871-890.
    Famously, Kripke has argued that the central portion of the Philosophical Investigations describes both a skeptical paradox and its skeptical solution. Solving the paradox involves the element of the community, which determines correctness conditions for rule-following behavior. What do such conditions precisely consist of? Is it accurate to say that there is no fact to the matter of rule following? How are the correctness conditions sustained in the community? My answers to these questions revolve around the idea that a rule (...)
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  • Wittgenstein on the Impossibility of Following a Rule Only Once.Francis Y. Lin - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (1):134-154.
    ABSTRACTWittgenstein’s remark that one cannot follow a rule only once has generated two puzzles: how can everyone accept it to be true? and why does Wittgenstein advance it? These two puzzles have tormented commentators for decades. In this paper I put forward a new interpretation and explain away the two puzzles. I shall show that Wittgenstein’s remark is plain truth and that his motivation behind making it is to dissolve the picture theory of meaning propounded in the Tractatus. This interpretation (...)
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  • Defining and Defending Social Holism.Philip Pettit - 1998 - Philosophical Explorations 1 (3):169 – 184.
    This paper offers a definition of social holism that makes the doctrine non-trivial but possibly true. According to that definition, the social holist maintains that people depend non-causally on interaction with one another for possession of the capacity to think; the thesis is meant to be a contingent truth but one, like physicalism, that is plausible in the light of some a priori argument and some plausible empirical assumptions. The paper also sketches an argument in support of social holism, which (...)
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  • Hegel's Account of Rule-Following.David Landy - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):170 – 193.
    I here discuss Hegel's rule-following considerations as they are found in the first four chapters of his Phenomenology of Spirit. I begin by outlining a number of key premises in Hegel's argument that he adopts fairly straightforwardly from Kant's Transcendental Deduction. The most important of these is that the correctness or incorrectness of one's application of a rule must be recognizable as such to the rule-follower. Supplementing Hegel's text as needed, I then argue that it is possible for an experiencing (...)
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  • On Complete Information Dispositionalism.Mons Nyquist - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-24.
    In a trio of recent articles, Johnson and Nado defend a form of metasemantic dispositionalism, arguing for a novel approach to the “error”-problem, based on speakers’ dispositional states under what they call a state of “full information”. In this article, I argue that their brand of dispositionalism fails to solve the “error”-problem, because of what I think of as counterexamples to it. In the final sections, I propose a way to amend the theory to shield it from some of the (...)
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