A Straight Solution to Kripke's Sceptical Paradox

Paul Horwich

in Meaning

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780198238249
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597725 | DOI:
 A Straight Solution to Kripke's Sceptical Paradox

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Kripke argues (in his Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language) that there are no genuine facts as to what words mean. The present chapter begins with a discussion of how this conclusion should be construed and proceeds to criticize the various considerations marshalled in favour of it. The central flaw is shown to be Kripke's explicit assumption that a given property of a word may provide it with a given meaning only if two interrelated conditions are satisfied: (a) that, from the information that some word possesses the given property, we may read off what it must mean, and (b) that we can explain why this property will engender that particular meaning. It is concluded that there are, after all, perfectly genuine empirical facts of meaning.

Keywords: Kripke; rule following; sceptical paradox; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  5669 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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