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Date(s) - 20/10/2017
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

McMaster University, Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning, Room B107


October 20:  Claudine Verheggen (York University)

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm in DSB B107

“Davidson’s Treatment of Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox”

Abstract:  The aim of this paper is first to show that Wittgenstein and Davidson both argue for semantic non-reductionism, the rejection of any account of meaning that does not invoke semantic notions, in similar ways, and that consequently they conceive of the use they both take to be essential to meaning in a similar way. Both think that a full account of meaning requires us to consider this use within a semantic context, so that we cannot say what speakers mean by their words, and what words mean, without saying what speakers use their words to mean, and we cannot answer the question what makes it possible for someone to have a language without thinking of her as already having one.  However, whereas Wittgenstein makes only very general remarks about the kind of use that is essential to meaning, Davidson has much more to say about the topic and, as a result, provides a significantly richer and more constructive way to address the paradox about meaning and rule-following developed by Wittgenstein.

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