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A Sceptical Guide to Meaning and Rules
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Book description

Few other recent books in Anglophone philosophy have attracted as much criticism as Saul Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. And yet, Kripke's essay is rightly counted amongst the books that students of philosophy, at least in the Anglo-American world, should read at some point in their education. Enormously influential it has given rise to debates that strike at the very heart of contemporary philosophy of mind and language. In this major new interpretation, Martin Kusch defends Kripke's account against the numerous weighty objections that have been put forward over the past twenty years and argues that none of them is decisive. He shows that many critiques are based on misunderstandings of Kripke's reasoning; that many attacks can be blocked by refining and developing Kripke's position; and that many alternative proposals turn out either to be unworkable or to be disguised variants of the view they are meant to replace. Kusch argues that the apparent simplicity of Kripke's text is deceptive and that a fresh reading gives Kripke's overall argument a new strength. A Sceptical Guide to Meaning and Rules is a challenging and important work that addresses the most fundamental questions of linguistic meaning and mental content. It will be essential reading for philosophers of mind and language.

Reviews

"An excellent and stimulating work. . . a genuine contribution to the discussion that deserves serious attention and provides considerable food for thought. To those coming to the debate for the first time, Kusch provides a reliable and opinionated introduction. To those already immersed in it, and in danger of not seeing the wood for the trees, he offers a much-needed and informed perspective."

Source: Mind

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