Husserlian Phenomenology, Rule-following, and Primitive Normativity

In Chad Engelland (ed.), Language and Phenomenology. Routledge. pp. 74-91 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The paper presents a phenomenological approach to recent debates in the philosophy of language about rule-following and the normativity of meaning, a debate that can be traced to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations but that was given new life with Saul Kripke’s Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Taking a cue from Hannah Ginsborg’s recent work on “primitive normativity,” I use some of Husserl’s own comments about meaning and the status of rules to sketch a solution to Kripke’s rule-following paradox by appealing to a kind of normativity at the level of perception and intersubjective embodiment. This level of normativity arises, like Ginsborg’s, via a primitive kind of judgment that does not presuppose linguistic or conceptual mastery. Unlike for Ginsborg, however, for Husserl this level should still be understood in terms of meaning—just not in the standard linguistic or conceptual senses prominent in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition in which the rule-following debates have occurred. My interpretation thus also demonstrates how Husserl’s account bypasses certain presuppositions about meaning common in the period of the linguistic turn—presuppositions also questioned, in different ways, by Wittgenstein, by Kripke, and by Ginsborg.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

II—Adrian Haddock: Meaning, Justification, and‘Primitive Normativity’.Adrian Haddock - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):147-174.
Towards a New Kind of Semantic Normativity.Claudine Verheggen - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):410-424.
A Critique of Saul Kripke's "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language".Chrysoula Gitsoulis - 2008 - Dissertation, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Meaning and Understanding.Jason Bridges - 2016 - In Hans‐Johann Glock & John Hyman (eds.), A Companion to Wittgenstein. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 375-389.
Kripke’s Normativity Argument.José L. Zalabardo - 1997 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):467-488.


Added to PP

368 (#38,579)

6 months
80 (#20,504)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jacob Rump
Creighton University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references