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Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

Volume 1, April 2008

Jonathan Langseth
Pages 38-43

Wittgenstein’s Account of Rule-Following and Its Implications

In this paper I present an interpretation of Wittgenstein’s account of rulefollowing, including what implications he suggests this account has for philosophy. The account suggests that neither one’s interpretation nor the rule itself are criteria by which we may conclude a rule was followed correctly or not. Rather it is through training, regularity, habit and social expectation-in short, by the consequences of action-that an action is considered in accord with a rule. I argue that even if we accept Wittgenstein’s account of rule-following, certain philosophically important implications follow.