Rules as constitutive practices defined by correlated equilibria

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (2022)
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Abstract

In this paper, I present a game-theoretic solution to the rule-following paradox in terms of what I will call basic constitutive practices. The structure of such a practice P constitutes what it is to take part in P by defining the correctness conditions of our most basic concepts as those actions that lie on the correlated equilibrium of P itself. Accordingly, an agent S meant addition by his use of the term ‘+’ because S is taking part in a basic constitutive practice of adding where quus-like answers are ruled out by not lying on the equilibrium. The resulting picture of language will preserve the objectivity and correctness conditions of meaning, all the while providing room for the community as a whole to make a mistake. I also argue that by accepting the account presented, we have a strong reason to reject the idea that language is rule-governed.

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Ásgeir Berg
University of Iceland

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