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Real normativity

Cross, JA; (2016) Real normativity. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Saul Kripke’s Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language (1982) marked the beginning in earnest of the continuing debate about the connection of rule-following and meaning to normativity. This thesis continues my previous project (Cross 2013) on this topic. That first instalment assessed a dilemma identified by John McDowell (1984) between two arguably unappealing alternatives: embracing something like Crispin Wright’s (1980) global anti-realism, and facing up to the notorious ‘sceptical paradox’ Kripke found in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein 1953). Where previously I focused on Wright, I will now focus on Kripke. I begin with an outline of Kripke’s problem and locate it within the context of my previous work, in turn locating the normativity of meaning within the challenge. I then critically assess the relative merits of several accounts of meaning-normativity that present as straight solutions to Kripke’s paradox, before responding to arguments that the paradox can and should be resolved by rejecting the critical premiss that meaning is essentially normative. I ultimately conclude that while meaning-normativists can plausibly resist this and similar assaults, the whole topic is in fact a red herring with respect to Kripke’s paradox. I argue that despite his attestations to the contrary, the paradox turns on doubts about our ability to know our own intentional content, and hence that it should be resolved by a suitable account of epistemology

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Real normativity
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1524149
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