43rd Annual Francis W. Gramlich Lecture

Dartmouth Events

43rd Annual Francis W. Gramlich Lecture

Hannah Ginsborg (Berkeley). 'Rule-following without rules: Wittgenstein on the normativity of meaning and content.' Free and open to all. Reception follows.

Friday, May 5, 2017
Haldeman 41 (Kreindler Conference Hall)
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract: "There has been much debate on the question whether meaning is normative, a question which is of interest to philosophers because the normativity of meaning appears to threaten naturalistic accounts of meaning and content. Wittgenstein figures indirectly in this debate, because the thesis that meaning is normative was put forward most emphatically by Saul Kripke as part of an interpretation of Wittgenstein. Did Wittgenstein himself endorse the view meaning is normative? Drawing on the Philosophical Investigations and other texts, I propose an interpretation of Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule-following on which Wittgenstein recognizes a kind of normativity which is relevant to meaning, but which is very different from the normativity of meaning as it has typically been understood. I suggest that the recognition of this kind of normativity – a version of what I call 'primitive normativity”'– sheds new light on the debate about the normativity of meaning and on the prospects for naturalistic views of meaning and content."

Hannah Ginsborg (University of California, Berkeley) combines work in the history of philosophy, especially Kant, with an interest in contemporary philosophy, in particular the theory of meaning and the philosophy of mind. Much of her published work has focused on Kant's Critique of Judgment, arguing for its importance both to Kant's own theory of cognitive judgment and to our present-day understanding of cognition. Recently she has been applying what she takes to be the central insight of Critique of Judgment to a range of contemporary issues, including rule-following skepticism, the normativity of meaning and content, the content of perceptual experience, and the notion of function in biology. A collection of her articles of Kant's Critique of Judgment recently appeared as The Normativity of Nature: Essays on Kant's "Critique of Judgment'" (Oxford Univ. Press., 2015).

For more information, contact:
Marcia Welsh
(603) 646-3738

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.