Going on as one ought: Kripke and Wittgenstein on the normativity of meaning

Mind and Language 37 (5):876-892 (2022)
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Kripke’s thesis that meaning is normative is typically interpreted, following Boghossian, as the thesis that meaningful expressions allow of true or warranted use. I argue for an alternative interpretation centered on Wittgenstein’s conception of the normativity involved in “knowing how to go on” in one’s use of an expression. Meaning is normative for Kripke because it justifies claims, not to be saying something true, but to be going on as one ought from prevous uses of the expression. I argue that this represents a distortion of Wittgenstein’s conception of the normativity of meaning, and that Wittgenstein’s conception is preferable

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Hannah Ginsborg
University of California, Berkeley


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