The Exemplification of Rules: An Appraisal of Pettit’s Approach to the Problem of Rule-following

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Abstract This paper offers an appraisal of Phillip Pettit's approach to the problem how a merely finite set of examples can serve to represent a determinate rule, given that indefinitely many rules can be extrapolated from any such set. I argue that Pettit's so-called ethnocentric theory of rule-following fails to deliver the solution to this problem he sets out to provide. More constructively, I consider what further provisions are needed in order to advance Pettit's general approach to the problem. I conclude that what is needed is an account that, whilst it affirms the view that agents' responses are constitutively involved in the exemplification of rules, does not allow such responses the pride of place they have in Pettit's theory.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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