Guest Speaker - Nat Hansen

Event Date: Tuesday, November 5 - 4:00 pm to 6:45 pm
Location: Burk Hall 225
Nat Hansen

Reading Cavell’s “Argument of the Ordinary”

In Kripke’s “influential and disturbing” Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, a “skeptical solution” is offered to a skeptical problem about rule following and meaning. Cavell, like almost all other interpreters of Wittgenstein, does not accept Kripke’s “skeptical solution”—indeed Cavell says that Kripke’s solution is “more skeptical than the problem it is designed to solve”. But unlike almost all other interpreters of Wittgenstein, Cavell does not offer an alternative solution to Kripke’s skeptical problem. Instead, Cavell’s  “argument of the ordinary” is that skepticism is one half of a “human capacity and drive” to both deny and affirm our ordinary criteria for what counts as, for example, meaning something or following a rule. In this presentation, I will discuss Cavell’s argument of the ordinary in relation to his remarks on criteria in The Claim of Reason and his defense of ordinary language philosophy in his early essay “Must We Mean What We Say?”