Wittgenstein, Grammar and Response-Dependence

Tracy Bowell


Significant similarities can be found between Wittgenstein’s views on grammar and
response-dependence accounts of concept use and acquisition. Such similarities may be
unsurprising since Phillip Pettit’s response-dependence account of concept
acquisition was first developed as a response to the rule-following conundrum (in its
Kripkensteinian form). However, very little further work has been undertaken at the
intersections of the literature of response-dependence and Wittgenstein’s work. I
want here to bring response-dependence into productive conversation with
Wittgenstein’s work: A consideration of key aspects of a response-dependence approach
in the light of Wittgenstein’s remarks on grammar and on the nature and role of hinge
propositions adds perspicuity and plausibility to the response-dependence approach,
while also showing that that approach fits comfortably within a Wittgensteinian


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; hinge proposition; response dependence; grammatical proposition; grammar

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