Rule-Following, Meaning Constitution and Enaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The paper submits a criticism of the standard formulation of Wittgenstein’s rule-following paradox. According to the standard formulation, influenced by Kripke, the paradox invites us to consider what mental or behavioral items could constitute meaning. The author proposes instead an enactivist understanding of the paradox. On this account there is no essential gap between mental items and behavioral patterns such that the paradox enforces a choice between meaning being constituted either internally ‘in mind,’ or externally ‘in behavior.’ The paper begins with an introduction to the paradox and then presents arguments against standard solutions. It ends with the enactivist proposal, admitting that although much more needs to be said before it can be established as a full-fledged alternative, it nonetheless holds some promise both for revising our understanding of the paradox and for the formulation of a novel solution.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy


  • Wittgenstein, Rule-following, Meaning, Enaction, Interaction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-120
JournalHuman Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch