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Baker Hacker Rules Notes

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Baker and Hacker - Wittgenstein: Rules, Grammar and Necessity Chapter Three: Accord with a rule

1. Initial compass bearings
* What questions was Wittgenstein addressing, and why did he see any need to address them?
* what justifies our verdict that 1002 is the next term, following 1000, according to the rule '+2'?
# not intuition, unless the mind could 'traverse the entire series of even integers in a flash'
# is it the formula? how can a mere expression determine what is correct/incorrect?
# is it the rule itself - not the formula?
* this seems to rely on a Platonic mechanism that generates consequences independently of us
# is it justified by an interpretation? but there can be many interpretations that give different accounts of what is correct/incorrect (Kripke)
* We can understand an expression yet explain it incorrectly, and we can explain an expression correctly yet misapply it, so it is important to see how explanation and use are related
* it is also difficult to talk of someone understanding a word where meaning is use, because use spreads over time. are future uses already present in the rule for its use?
# explanations function as standards for determining correct use - hence they are rules for use. so we must analyse rules to understand all this shit

2. Accord and the harmony between language and reality
* Starting point: if one understands a rule, one knows what to do in order to act in accordance with it
* this is like W's 1930s preoccupation with the relation between a desire and its realization
- does a desire contain a state of affairs, a picture of a state of affairs, or what?
* the relation between these things is internal
# a property is internal if it is unthinkable that its bearer should not possess it - a relation is internal if it is unthinkable that these two objects should not stand in this relation i.e. these properties/relations are partly constitutive of the natures of the things whose attributes they are
* Post-Tractatus, W moved from an interest in the relationship between a proposition and its negation to that between belief and its validation, expectation and its fulfilment etc
* expectation and fulfilment use the same symbol
# i.e. if i expect that p, then the fulfilment of that expectation cannot be described without using p
# the relation between a belief and what makes it true is formed in language
* this (and the previous discussion) is an analogue for rules
* How can a rule determine in advance what accords with it, without containing its extension?
What makes the rule and the according act agree with each other?
* Tractatus - rule contains 'in some sense' a picture of what accords with it
# 'shadowy intermediary'
* Russell - the rule doesn't determine what is in accord with it (community view)
# intermediary + denial of the internal relation

*

Wittgenstein - the internal relation
# it is true that an F's V-ing in circumstances C is an act that accords with the rule that Fs should V in C
# the rule wouldn't be the rule it is, (OR?) the act wouldn't be the act that it is, if the act didn't count as being in accord with the rule
* the internal relation precludes any intermediary (really? is the 'picture' of the Tractatus not an intermediary, with the relation remaining internal?
# 1002 follows 1000 because the rule and its extension are not two things that can be grasped independently of one another
* the rule would not be the rule it is were 1000 followed by any other number

3. Rules of inference and logical machinery
* Is it not the case that all rules are mediated through a logical principle of universal instantiation i.e. 'From (x)fx infer fa'? In other words, our ability to accord and conflict with the rule seems to be grounded in the laws of logic (c.f. Winch - Achilles and the Tortoise. don't we need an additional principle? e.g. 'from 'From (x)fx infer fa' and (x)fx, infer fa')
* but how can the laws of logic be essential to relate propositions that are already intrinsically, internally related?
* Inferring is a human activity - we say that someone has inferred such-and-such if the expression of what he has inferred is a transformation of other propositions according to a paradigm
* the rules of inference are partly constitutive of the meaning of logical language e.g. part of the meaning of 'negation'
# this means that an inference rule cannot make connections between internally related propositions - rules of inference are only essential to the explanations of the meanings of logical operators (seems highly implausible. why wouldn't accordance with a rule rest on acknowledgement of universal instantiation?
# a rule of inference doesn't 'engineer a fit' between independently given propositions, but 'makes perspicuous the fact that a pair of propositions belong to one another, that they are internally related.'

4. Formulations and explanations of rules by examples
* Sometimes we explain a rule by giving a set of examples, which can function as the expression of a rule e.g. '0, 2, 4, 6, 8', or family resemblance concepts
* but a set of examples such as this can accord with any number of rules/functions (Kripkenstein)
# is our understanding of a rule simply ineffable?
# is accord in fact mediated by interpretations?
* But we do speak of the series, and respond in definite ways to e.g. '0, 2, 4, 6, 8' - we can discriminate between what is correct and what is incorrect. So how do we defuse the objection?
* Wittgenstein - understanding a rule is manifest in someone's actions - someone's reaction to a rule is a criterion of their understanding it
# (isn't this just a statement that how we understand a rule is brute?)
# to understand a rule is to know what acts accord with it and what transgress it

5. Interpretations, fitting and grammar

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