Demont, Florian (2009)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
In 1982 Saul A. Kripke proposed a reconstruction of the central insights of Ludwig Wittgenstein's remarks on rule-following. The reconstruction prominently featured a sceptical challenge which soon was recognised as a new and very radical form of scepticism. According to the challenge there is no fact of the matter which constitutes meaning. As there is no such fact, the first-person authority people intuitively seem to have concerning what they mean is also baseless. In response to the sceptic, many solutions have been proposed. This thesis is about one family of solutions, according to which facts about meaning are sui generis and can neither be reduced to other facts about the world nor to non-semantic facts about the human mind. The non-reductionist proposals by Colin McGinn and Crispin Wright will be assessed in detail and arguments against both will be introduced. The arguments stem only partially from Kripke himself, some are based on recent literature, others are completely new. The emerging situation will be used as a basis to propose an alternative non-reductionism about meaning-facts.
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