Philosophy 290-3

Fall 2017

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-3 Graduate Seminar: Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Considerations Ginsborg Tu 4-6 Moses 234

This seminar will attempt to get to grips with the “rule-following considerations” presented in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and in other texts. These considerations raise questions about what it is to follow a rule and to grasp the meaning of an expression. They have been taken by some commentators, including Kripke, to present a skeptical argument undermining the very possibility of rule-following and of meaning.

Our primary focus will be the passages which are typically taken as central to the rule-following considerations (Investigations §§185-242), but we will look at these in the context of material from earlier in the Investigations and of other work of Wittgenstein, in particular Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics. Depending on time and the interest of the participants we will also read some of the relevant secondary literature, including work by Dummett, Stroud, Wright, McDowell, Ebbs, Goldfarb and Kripke