Wittgenstein (and his followers) on meaning and normativity

Paul Horwich
New York University, United States of America | ph42@nyu.edu

Received: 31-January-2019 | Accepted: 10-April-2019 | Published: 30-June-2019
Disputatio [Jun. 2019], Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 00-00 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2652686
Article | [EN] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [es] | Vol. 8 No. 9

How to cite this article:

Horwich, Paul (2019). «Wittgenstein (and his followers) on meaning and normativity». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 8, no. 9: pp. 00–00.

Abstract | This paper questions the idea that Wittgenstein’s account of meaning as use requires an intrinsically normative understanding of this notion, and suggests instead that Wittgenstein is better understood as promoting a naturalistic view of meaning that undertakes an explanation based on non–semantic and non–normative facts of word–usage. It discusses the relevant positions of Kripke, Brandom and McDowell, all of whom are found to be united by the attempt to attribute to Wittgenstein a normative understanding of language that is not convincing. While language does exhibit normative properties that cannot be naturalized, the understanding speakers have of their own words is “a prima facie plausible candidate for naturalistic analysis.”
Keywords |
Meaning as Use · Naturalism · Normativism · Quietism · Rules.

Wittgenstein (y sus seguidores) sobre significado y normatividad

Resumen | Este trabajo cuestiona la idea de que la manera en que Wittgenstein da cuenta del significado como uso requiere una comprensión intrínsecamente normativa de esta noción, y sugiere en lugar de esto que un mejor entendimiento de Wittgenstein se da viéndolo como promoviendo un punto de vista naturalista que emprende mejor una explicación basada en un uso de palabras no semántico y no normativo. El ensayo revisa las posiciones relevantes de Kripke, Brandom y McDowell, los cuales, según él, están unidos en un intento de atribuir a Wittgenstein una comprensión normativa del lenguaje que no es convincente. Mientras es correcto que el lenguaje muestra propiedades normativas que no se pueden naturalizar, la comprensión de los parlantes de sus propias palabras es «un candidato plausible prima facie de un análisis naturalista».
Palabras Clave | Significado como uso · Naturalismo · Normativismo · Quietismo · Reglas.


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