In Oughts and Thoughts, Anandi Hattiangadi provides an innovative response to the argument for meaning scepticism set out by Saul Kripke in Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Kripke asks what makes it the case that anybody ever means anything by any word, and argues that there are no facts of the matter as to what anybody ever means. Kripke's argument has inspired a lively and extended debate in the philosophy of language, as it raisessome of the most fundamental issues in the field: namely, the reality, privacy, and normativity of meaning. Hattiangadi argues that in order to achieve the radical conclusion that there are no facts as to what a person means by a word, the sceptic must rely on the thesis that meaning is normative, and that this thesisfails. Since any 'sceptical solution' to the sceptical problem is irremediably incoherent, Hattiangadi concludes that there must be a fact of the matter about what we mean. In addition to providing an overview of the debate on meaning and content scepticism, Hattiangandi presents a detailed discussion of the contributions made by Simon Blackburn, Paul Boghossian, Robert Brandom, Fred Dretske, John McDowell, and Crispin Wright, among others, to the controversy surrounding Kripke's argument. The issues considered include the normativity of meaning and its relation to the normativity of moral judgments, reductive and non-reductive theories of meaning, deflationismabout truth and meaning, and the privacy of meaning.
- Publication Date:
- 31 / 05 / 2007