Rationality, autonomy, and obedience to linguistic norms

Synthese 198 (9):8955-8980 (2020)
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Abstract

Many philosophers working today on the normativity of language have concluded that linguistic activity is not a matter of rule following. These conversations have been framed by a conception of linguistic normativity with roots in Wittgenstein and Kripke. In this paper I use conceptual resources developed by the classical American pragmatists and their descendants to argue that punctate linguistic acts are governed by rules in a sense that has been neglected in the recent literature on the normativity of language. In the course of arguing for this conclusion I defend a Kantian conception of rationality as rule-obeying activity, and I argue that this conception is compatible with a naturalistic understanding of ourselves as rational beings governed by rules of thought and action.

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Preston Stovall
University of Hradec Králové

Citations of this work

Belief Attribution as Indirect Communication.Christopher Gauker - 2021 - In Ladislav Koreň, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Preston Stovall & Leo Townsend (eds.), Groups, Norms and Practices: Essays on Inferentialism and Collective Intentionality. Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 173-187.

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