Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language

Philosophy of Science 51 (1):163-171 (1984)

Abstract

Discussion of Wittgenstein's philosophy has suffered from a scarcity of commentators who understand his work well enough to explain it in their own words. Apart from certain notable exceptions, all too many advocates and critics alike have tended merely to repeat slogans, with approval or ridicule as the case may be. The result has been an unusual degree of polarization and acrimony—some philosophers abandoning normal critical standards, falling under the spell and becoming fanatical supporters; and others taking an equally extreme opposite view, deriding the absence of analytic technique, and refusing to see anything of value in Wittgenstein's work.

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Paul Horwich
New York University

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