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Chomsky and Wittgenstein on Linguistic Competence

McNally, Thomas and McNally, Sinéad (2012) Chomsky and Wittgenstein on Linguistic Competence. Nordic Wittgenstein Review, 1. pp. 135-154. ISSN 2242-248X

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In his Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Saul Kripke presents his influential reading of Wittgenstein’s later writings on language. One of the largely unexplored features of that reading is that Kripke makes a small number of suggestive remarks concerning the possible threat that Wittgenstein’s arguments pose for Chomsky’s linguistic project. In this paper, we attempt to characterise the relevance of Wittgenstein’s later work on meaning and rule-following for transformational linguistics, and in particular to identify and evaluate the potentially negative impact it has on that project. We conclude by arguing that Chomsky’s attempts at defending his individualist or non-communitarian standpoint are undermined by his inability to give a decisive response to Wittgenstein’s attack on logical compulsion.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Meaning (Psychology) > Semantics
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2014 15:44
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 15:38

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