The Argument from Normativity against Dispositional Analyses of Meaning

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 (2009)
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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 to, (2) I try to clarify what supports it, and (3) I sketch a valid version of the argument.
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