You are here

Back to top

Wittgenstein on Rules: Justification, Grammar, and Agreement (Hardcover)

Wittgenstein on Rules: Justification, Grammar, and Agreement Cover Image
Email or call for price


James R. Shaw offers a new 'bipartite' reading of Wittgenstein's treatment of rule-following and the foundations of semantics in his seminal Philosophical Investigations. On this reading, Wittgenstein's remarks are split between two logically distinct projects marked by different guiding questions, presuppositions, and methodologies. It shows how the attribution of this thoroughgoing bipartite structure resolves a number of internal tensions in the text and reveals Wittgenstein's controversial remarks on human agreement to exhibit a surprising attentiveness to, and plausible treatment of, a blurring of the semantics/metasemantics distinction arising in Wittgenstein's treatment of foundational semantic questions. Shaw then turns to an extended engagement with "Kripkensteinean" meaning skepticism. While on the reading offered, Wittgenstein never countenanced meaning skepticism, his work in the foundations of semantics gives us the resources to develop an unusual naive reply to the skeptic not yet explored in literature. Shaw argues that the Wittgensteinean reply is simple, effective, generalizable, and theoretically light-weight', so that a theorist of almost any stripe could in principle take it up.

About the Author

James R. Shaw is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780197609989
ISBN-10: 0197609988
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: December 16th, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English