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Ruth Garrett Millikan, , . Truth, Rules, Hoverflies, and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox
1990, Philosophical Review 99 (3):323-53
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Hannah Ginsborg

Abstract: “[T]he sceptical argument that Kripke attributes to Wittgenstein, and even the ‘sceptical solution’, are of considerable importance regardless of whether they are clearly Wittgenstein’s. The naturalistically inclined philosopher, who rejects Brentano’s irreducibility and yet holds intentionality to be an objective feature of our thoughts, owes a solution to the Kripke-Wittgenstein paradox.” The challenge is a welcome one. Although I will argue that the Kripke-Wittgenstein paradox is not a problem for naturalists only, I will propose a naturalist solution to it. (Should the Kripke-Wittgenstein paradox prove to be soluble from a naturalist standpoint but intractable from other standpoints, that would, I suppose, constitute an argument for naturalism.) Then I will show that the paradox and its solution have an important consequence for the theories of meaning and truth. The Kripke-Wittgenstein arguments which pose the paradox also put in question Dummett’s and Putnam’s view of language understanding. From this view it follows that truth rules must be “verificationist rules” that assign assertability conditions to sentences, rather than “realist rules” that assign correspondence truth conditions. The proposed solution to the paradox suggests another view of language understanding, according to which a speaker can express, through his language practice, a grasp of correspondence truth rules.

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