This is simply what I do: Peirce's real generality meets Wittgenstein's rule-following?
Legg, C. (2003). This is simply what I do. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 66(1), 58-80.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/776
Wittgenstein’s discussion of rule-following is widely regarded to have identified what Kripke called “the most radical and original sceptical problem that philosophy has seen to date”. But does it? This paper examines the problem in the light of Charles Peirce’s distinctive scientific hierarchy. Peirce identifies a phenomenological inquiry which is prior to both logic and metaphysics, whose role is to identify the most fundamental philosophical categories. His third category, particularly salient in this context, pertains to general predication. Rule-following scepticism, the paper suggests, results from running together two questions: “How is it that I can project rules?”, and, “What is it for a given usage of a rule to be right?”. In Peircean terms the former question, concerning the irreducibility of general predication (to singular reference), must be answered in phenomenology, while the latter, concerning the difference between true and false predication, is answered in logic. A failure to appreciate this distinction, it is argued, has led philosophers to focus exclusively on Wittgenstein’s famous public account of rule-following rightness, thus overlooking a private, phenomenological dimension to Wittgenstein’s remarks on following a rule which gives the lie to Kripke’s reading of him as a sceptic.
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.