Licencia Creative Commons
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivar 4.0 Internacional. E-Crispin Wright.doc
Descargar el archivo adjunto original

Praxis Filosófica Journal

New series, No. 39, July-dicembre, 2014

Following a rule: is always a case of knowledge?

Juan Saharrea



Juan Saharrea (UNSL-UNC)

The following a rule´s discussion raises central questions about the nature of our concepts. In this essay, we place and discuss a thesis of Crispin Wright's approach, namely following a rule always involves an epistemic commitment. According to our view, the following of rules for cases that Wright called "basic cases" (cases that cannot be reduced to a modus ponens structure of reasoning) carries no epistemic commitment. Such cases are basic linguistic commitments that without being true or false allow the rest of our conceptual building to be judged as true or false. So, we agreed with Wright on grasping any rule is a case that requires rational competence but we discuss his criterion to point out the rationality of rule.

Rule, concepts, Wright, epistemic commitment, rationality

Received: 30-01-14

Approved: 22-03-14

1) Introduction

As Crispin Wright says " [e]veryone agrees that the discussion of rule-following, concentrated in Investigations §§185-242 and in part VI of the Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, is absolutely central to Wittgenstein's later philosophies of language, mathematics and mind" (Wright , 2002 ) . However, the debate goes beyond the exegesis of Wittgenstein and poses a set of basic philosophical questions, such as the status of the facts, the objectivity of our concepts, skepticism about the world and others minds, the relationship between truth and certainty, or between understanding and meaning and other controversies associated. In the last decade, all these issues have been crystallized in the problem about the status of perception and the debate on conceptualism and no-conceptualism of perceptual content.2 Taking into account the impact of these issues, it should not surprise us the interest of interpreters in "the rule -following considerations" - such is the expression with which Wright synthesizes the breadth of this debate - from the 80´s.3

Mentioning Wright as an authority in this respect is no accident. Wright devoted and still devotes some of his research to discuss the status of the idea of ??objectivity regarding the discussion of rule-following. In his main publications, namely Wittgenstein on foundations of mathematics 1980, Truth and Objectivity 1992 -a decade later- and Rails to infinitive 2001 – the concern for this unavoidable aspect of Wittgenstein's later philosophy is remarkable. And the interest, we insist, survives after these influential publications.

So many years of discussing the same topic give Wright credit for raising the issue clearly. So it is important to pay attention to his considerations when he says that there is some consensus between interpreters regarding the textual core that determines the topic of following a rule.4 It is also important, on the other hand, to notice his diagnosis of “[ ... ] there is less agreement about [the] upshot [ of the debate ] ." By saying this, Wright does not intend to state something obvious because there must always be different positions in discussions, rather by the contrast he intends to emphasize that the basis of agreement that ensures the debate in the case of following a rule is not only confined to selection of texts. There seems to be consensus on points of exegetical nature: what these texts say, what they are asking and what the main assumptions and premises that are put into play are.

It is thus possible to record a starting point in which all the interpreters more or less tend to agree. After this full agreement, the differences arise. However, what is Wittgenstein raising in these paragraphs? or what is the point of attack ? These questiones are not difficult to answer. The agreement, on the other hand, is not the product of mere chance. The way they all raise the question of following a rule fits the way Wittgenstein himself did, namely, through a dilemma (or dilemmatic syllogism ) in § 195 of the Investigations. We have, then, a single argument - a brief, efficient and effective argument- summarizing the problem of rule-following.

By presenting the dilemma, it is important, in order to avoid confusion, to specify in advance that by "conformity to rules" henceforth we mean the understanding of a concept, i.e., the ability to use it in different contexts, starting with different contexts to those in which we learned the concept for the first time.

The dilemma is the following: either there are facts that verify our conformity to rules and these facts are sui generis (of a peculiar status that is neither physical nor mental, and must therefore be defined) or conformity to rules is only the consent (or ratification) of the community to rules, in which case, the idea of ??objectivity as a separate instance of any assent (or ratification) is lost - we understand the idea of ??objectivity as Crispin Wright does, that is, as being independent of any ratification by the community (Wright, 2007). McDowell, despite not agreeing with him, assumes this definition of objectivity at least in principle.

Even before analyzing it in detail, positions are divided using as criteria the attitude that everyone thinks Wittgenstein adopted after he posed the dilemma. In this connection, there are two alternatives in dispute. Two attitudes that Wittgenstein could have taken (we will describe the positions in "indirect discourse" –to use a fregean term- trying to avoid citations, to briefly define the key aspects of the relevant positions)

a) either Wittgenstein believed that the dilemma was mandatory and chose one of its horns (particularly the second)

b) or the dilemma was not mandatory and discussed one or more terms in which it is proposed.

The reference to an interpretation consistent with (a) is Saul Kripke (1982). According to Kripke's approach in posing this dilemma Wittgenstein refuse there are facts that have to ensure our compliance with rules. In this context, denying the possibility of any kind of facts, any case of following a rule is judged result of the rule´s adjustment to the authority of community. Moreover, Kripke reads the dilemma in sceptical key. According to his view, the dilemma poses a "skeptical paradox" that from the perspective of Wittgenstein can only be solved if it is confronted with a "skeptical solution".5

The problem then is how to stop the regression of interpretations, that is, how to weigh the relevance between disputed interpretations when there is no external criteria to the same interpretations to decide between them. According to Kripke, this return can only be neutralized if the consent of the community is set as a criterion. It is the community who authorizes the rule. It is the only way to overcome scepticism.

The major shortcoming of this approach, as noted by John McDowell (1984 , 1993) - is it does not judge as a problem if a community as a whole is wrong about the use of a concept. Failing to consider this, the same argumentative consequence that fits an individual who has no criterion for deciding between interpretations applies to the community in toto. The question is if there is no authority for rules except in reference to the community, what happens to the community? Who or what authorizes it? From Kripke's perspective, however, this question is not relevant because there is no acceptable authority to decide on the correctness of the concepts, except the community. A set of facts alleged "objective" entirely outside the community assent and the grossest metaphysics, is the same for Kripke (hence, he wants to avoid this consequence). The community however - its assent- is enough.

It should be noted that among those who defend the claim that Wittgenstein accepted the dilemma nobody states he chose the first horn (i.e., there are facts verifying compliance to rules and those facts are sui generis in nature).6 Another point of agreement among exegetes is that the great enemy of Wittgenstein’s intellectual discussion is the "conceptual Platonism." The idea that extra-linguistic facts are the condition of grasping concepts (represented by the following-rule model). It is also called the Fregean Platonism. Indeed, Frege following the good intuition of the objectivity of meaning to enable the communicability of language, judged that there were entities of a special status and that these entities were the meanings (cf. Dummett 1981: Chapter VII).

Now, going back to the second attitude according to which Wittgenstein would reject the terms of the dilemma. In this case, the reference position is John McDowell´s. In "On Wittgenstein Following a Rule" (1984) and in two subsequent articles on the same topic (1991, 1993) he states that Wittgenstein mistrusts the dilemma. Even though Wittgenstein poses it, he believes it is possible to disable it somehow. The key is that the following assumption can be questioned: (Premise dilemma): following a rule is always interpreting the rule.

McDowell points out that Wittgenstein explicitly criticizes this assumption and from this he infers that Wittgenstein never adopts it. This is a pretty convincing argument that the author of Investigations has no reason to believe the dilemma he presents was mandatory. In this regard, McDowell –as a good exegete- points out one of the most famous passages of Wittgenstein´s. These are the following lines from Blue Book (1953) marking a clear relationship between interpretation and following the rule.

What one wants to say is: “Every sign is capable of interpretations; but the meaning mustn´t be capable of interpretation. It is the last interpretation” (Blue Book 1958: 332)

Now a Kripkean could still mistrust and say that judging the meaning as the last interpretation does not exempt rule from the threat of the return of the interpretations. The problem is that even if it is assumed that there is an interpretation that prevails over the other, it seems that we do not move away from the domain of interpretations.

Fortunately, on more than one occasion, Wittgenstein himself tried to overcome this objection establishing a radical contrast between following and interpreting a rule. Quite strongly, we find this contrast in the famous § 201.7

In 1993, McDowell considers the objection when he mentions this passage -a comparison of the fragment of the Blue Book- and stresses that it should not be forgotten that a rule leads under certain objectivity that is constituted by the practices expressed in live forms of a community. Practices acquired when we become part of it. Logging into the community is acquiring that objective basis that allows the application of certain concepts and makes us agree in an amazing way on the uses of concepts and judgments.8

But this position’s critics are based on that precisely this passage is obscure. They raise questions such as: what would an uninterpeted interpretation be? Where is it? Who will spread it? Does it have propositional form? For supporters, in contrast, it is enough to appeal to the Wittgensteinian concept of "practice". The following of rules involves practices and such practices are shared "forms of life". These forms of life, hence, provide the framework of objectivity and ensure the authority necessary to the community. And there would not be more or less than that.

This response is defended by McDowell, and in a similar way it was held beforehand by Stanley Cavell in 1978/2003. Closer in time, was defended by Jacques Bouveresse 1996/2001. In all three cases, their positions in relation to a rule, are synthesized in two commitments,

1) it is a fact that there is no agreement of the community at the level of judgements

2) that fact cannot be explained by a theory neither your explanation is necessary

2. Wright´s view

Wright 's view, taking into account the acceptance of the dilemma, is closer to McDowell. Actually, his treatment of the problem evolved. Initially, Wright´s approach was closer to Kripke. In fact, in his 1984´s article McDowell himself discusses Wright by drawing an analogy with Kripke’s perspective. Then, Wright defends a form of “communitarianism “of rule with the reservation that the fact that there was no authority for the community was not a problem. This doubt was the cause that led him to question the obligation of the dilemma as McDowell does. But unlike the latter he denied that there are elements in Wittgenstein himself to resolve the issue. In other words, Wright was not satisfied with the concept of "practice" to refer to the objectivity necessary for following rules. He thought that if he took into account the idea of ??objectivity as to be independent of ratification of the community, the concept of practice could not satisfy that requirement. To this extent, he judged Wittgenstein's answer as at least an insufficient response to the Investigation´s dilemma.

According to Wright 2007, the question that specifies the rule-following discussion is how does a rule lead us? " if we follow [rules], -he says- then presumably they lead. But, how do they manage to lead? "(2007: p.482). We should note that the question raised like that sounds ambiguous as it not only seems to refer to how the grasping of a concept determines future applications -what we call understanding or conformity to rules- but it seems to refer to an aspect that goes beyond the mere conception of a rule, namely: what urges us to follow it. In another conceptual horizon, this is similar to the problem of the possibility of akrasia in Nicomachean Ethics. It means that there may be a divergence between knowing a rule of action and not acting in accordance with it. But to clear this kind of doubt, Wright identifies three conditions for the rules to achieve the role of leading.

1) The "objectivity condition" (it is worth an in extenso quote for this first condition): "[the rules] – Wright says- have to issue their requirements independently and in advance of our appreciation of them; otherwise, there is no real leadership. But what kind of fact could it be that, in a context which no one has yet been placed in or considered, such-and-such a response, or course of action, is already what will be required by a particular rule? How in the world can such requirements be constituted? (Wright, 2007: 482). One way to summarize this condition is the request for defining the status of the facts that the rules require.

2) The "relevant condition": according to this second condition “if a rule is to lead us, it has to be that rule rather than any other rule whose guidance we are accepting – there have to be facts about the identity of the specific rule we intend to follow”. In relation to this ,Wright points out that a certain action without the condition of objectivity can be compatible with a "potentially infinite" number of rules with no criteria to discriminate the relevance among them.

3) The "epistemic condition": once we accept the independence of the rule and that it is possible to discriminate a specific rule among a potentially infinite number, the point is how we recognize the rule case by case, how we are "sensitive" to them in every circumstance.

According to our perspective, these three conditions are well discriminated but we think it is possible to reduce two of them to one : the relevance condition to the objectivity condition.

Let's see. The condition of objectivity, on one hand , is also called the " constitutive issue " since, as we stated, we need to define the range of events that guarantee objectivity so as to accomplish it. As for the second condition, the requirement of identity of the rule once the objectivity requirement was accomplished, does not count. Presumably, if there are facts that give support to a specific rule any alternative interpretation is discarded as appropriate. In other words, the return of the interpretations is ruled out. Even if we believe that what Wright poses with the second condition is not wrong, we believe it is an implication of the first one. So, according to our approach, it is possible to put together ( 1) and ( 2). We even think it is better to reduce both questions under the label of the status of “the constitutive matter ".

As for the epistemic condition, by mentioning it Wright believes that we must give a definition of what our epistemic access to the rules consists of. The hard part of the problem begins here. What would this kind of requirement be? It is not about providing a specification of how the psychological process of grasping a rule is but to reconstruct how the rule followed by one or more individuals in a given community may be rational. Hence, in his exposition, Wright presents an argumental reconstruction of what it would be to follow a rule. Something like a criterion of rationality for the rule that shows (1) that adopting a rule is a rational process , (2 ) that the rational process is a process of knowledge. And it is clear that Wright, like most Western philosophers , adopts a definition of knowledge as true justified knowledge and being the truth and the justification two necessary elements to qualify a commitment as a case of knowing.

However, if the link between rationality and knowledge is, on the other hand, obvious, why should we discriminate between (1) and (2)? Our patent dispute with Wright is presented here. Our disagreement forces this distinction because while Wright accepts both commitments we reject (2). So, we argue that all rule-following is a rational process but that rational (at least for some relevant cases) process is not identified with a case of knowledge. Given the need to identify when (in which cases) this consideration applies, the next step is to provide this distinction. Interestingly, for this, we appeal to a valuable differentiation belonging to Wright’s analysis , with the reservation that his approach is used with different consequences. This is the distinction between basic and non-basic cases. This issue is, moreover, the foremost point of Wright’s interpretation.

Interpreters are usually limited to the examples of rule-following that Wittgenstein gives and not proposing their own examples. Among wittgenstenianian examples, the most debated one is following a series. But Wright, in this respect, proposes a valuable distinction (partly inspired by Wittgenstein’s words) between cases of rule-following. His strategy exhibits interest in specifying the subject since there are countless activities we do in the right way or in the wrong way and therefore, they involve rules. The differentiation in rule-following cases is between,

a) "non-basic cases": their characteristic is that they conform to the modus ponens structure of reasoning (and it is here when Wright presents his criterion of rationality of the rule: a commitment is a rule if and only if it fits a modus ponens argument).

b) "Basic cases": cases of blind following. They do not conform to the modus ponens structure. An example would be the use of the concept 'red'.

Wright uses this distinction in order to avoid the false step to apply the model of non-basic cases to basic ones. The latter, moreover, would be most relevant to analyze the following of rules. To explain why they are important, it is useful to introduce a brandomian term at this point, namely “to make explicit" - Wright does not appeal to this resource perhaps deliberately but the concept is quite clarifying. It is in basic-cases where the rules are not explicit and in which the phenomenon of grasping a rule is “unintelligible”. If following a rule corresponded to the norms of logic in all cases, everything would be simpler.

We will explain the distinction of cases with examples: a non basic case of following a rule would be the movement of any game. To stick to Wright, we will employ the case of castling in chess. We have to adjust the rule of castling to a modus ponens reasoning´s structure, if p then q, p, q

Rule: If neither the king nor the tower has been moved up to this point in the game, and the spaces between them are unemployed and if neither the king nor the previously mentioned spaces are faced with other pieces, then you can castle

Premise: neither the king nor the tower has been moved up to this point in the game, and ...

Conclusion: I can now castle

As we can see, the application of the rule matches the conclusion of the argument.

A basic following case, however, would correspond to perceptual judgments like "this is red". It is impossible to infer this judgment from a premise on which it rests without falling into a fallacy (informal). It is not plausible to fit that example to the case of modus ponens reasoning without assuming what we want to prove.

Rule: "if x is ... we say x is red"

Premise: x is...

Conclusion: x is red.

There is no possibility of locating anything on the dotted line that may serve to conclude that "x is red". In any case, the basics of these cases are recorded in the fact that they are the ones that serve not to infer something from something expected (in the minor premise), but they are examples in which we need the rule to see, to make intelligible a situation that in the absence of rules would not be perceived at all.

As Wright concludes that all cases of rule-following are rational and that rationality should be expressed as a criterion and the criterion is the modus ponens structure. Given, moreover, that this structure does not work for basic cases, his analysis leads him to a dilemma: either he rejects the criterion or he concludes that the basic cases are not rule-following cases.

However, according to Wright, three commitments are interdependent and necessary

1) following a rule requires reasons

2) a rule is rational if it can be reformulated in terms of reasons

3) the only normativity that can guarantee knowledge is logic. Thus, the explanation of the rule in terms of modus ponens reasoning is the criterion for the rule. Otherwise, we should ask ourselves whether a rule is rational or not.

Following these commitments, he believes the original terms of the issue should be rethought. Since it is not possible to restate the basic following cases under the modus ponens model, we would have to conclude, according to this scheme, that the basic following cases would not be rational. The other option is to reject the criterion but Wright does not contemplate it at all. For Wright, on the other hand, this result is undesirable since it would betray not only his core ideas but also Wittgenstein´s ideas about language. An alternative for the learning of rules not to be reduced to its criterion of rationality is the Augustinian language model criticized in Investigations. As we know, this model reduces language learning to the natural association between names and objects and, it represents an agent possessing certain (natural) prior linguistic skills before joining a community.

Therefore, according to Wright, the methodological strategy should be changed and instead of analyzing cases of rule-following, we must study the status of perception in general and particularly the perceptual content (that following Wright’s view have to be conceptual to ensure the rationality of the basic cases). We believe that even before the change of methodological strategy, we may question the rationality criterion. It can be done without rejecting his opinion. In contrast, we share basic commitments with him such as that the normativity of rule-following is irreducible to a naturalistic explanation in causal terms. Our position shares more than it criticizes Wright´s.

3) Conclusion

After locating the problem and Wright’s position with respect to it, we can develop our view which supposes some disagreement with Wright. We agree on the need to distinguish between cases of rule-following and on the criterion he employs for this purpose. We also think the relevant cases to the topic in dispute are basic (blind) ones. We agree, thirdly, that following a rule , whether they are basic cases involves reasons in some sense. But we believe however that the mismatch in the criterion of rationality in cases of blind following shows that they themselves - these basic cases- are the condition to give reasons for further commitments (so-called non-basic cases following the distinction of Wright) and they cannot be rationalized under any criteria. In other words: the basic commitments contribute to epistemic commitments without themselves being cases of knowledge. For this reason they make the rationality of the rules possible but they should not be judged on what Wright called "criteria of rationality ,namely, truth and justification" because they cannot be qualified as true or false or justified or not. They are simply the starting point.

Under this consideration our criticism of Wright is similar to Wittgenstein criticism of Moore´s claim to provide proof of the external world in On Certainty 1969. Indeed, in this text Wittgenstein analyzing epistemic theories he states that on the basis of our cognitive commitments there is no ultimate foundation but certain judgments that we acquired as a requirement for admission to a community. Saying “this is a hand” or more generally " this is the world ", " this person is " " this is table " etc. . involves compromises without which an individual does not log into the community . The participation of these commitments in the regulations of our conceptual practices would be given because if we do not accept them we would be outside the community. If someone doubted whether this is a hand (pointing his hand), we would not say he is a philosopher in search of an argument. We would say, however, that he is outside the community.9

In this sense, we consider it appropriate McDowell´s analysis (and Cavell 2003 and 1996 Bouveresse-of whom we only mention in this article, following a similar line) relative to the response that Wittgenstein himself give to the question of how we acquire basic rules or commitments through the concept of "practice " In this regard, the interpretation of these three philosophers should be complemented with Wright´s distinction between basic and non-basic cases. This is the great merit of the analysis of the latter that is not covered by any other.

Finally, although this article agreed with McDowell's perspective to support the review of Wright, we should mention that the thesis on that it is not possible to extend Wittgenstein´s approach beyond pointing that the practices and life forms are the ones who provide objectivity to the rules, is not obvious. We need to put into question what Wright himself in Chapter 6 Truth and Objectivity has called the wittgensteinian "philosophical quietism" (cf. Wright 1992, p. 202-230) regarding at least the issue of following a rule. But this is no doubt subject of another article.


Bermudez, J. L. (2003). “Peacocke´s argument against the autonomy of non conceptual representational content” en Gunther Y. (ed.) Essays on non conceptual content. Massachussets: The MIT Press, 191-215.

Bouveresse, J.(1996). La demanda de filosofía. Bogotá: Siglo del Hombre.

Brewer, B. (1999). Perception and reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Brandom, R. (1994- 2001). Hacerlo explícito. Barcelona: Herder.

(2000) (ed.) Rorty and his critics, Massachussets: Blackwell.

Burge, T. (2003). Perceptual entitlement. Philosophy and phenomenological research, vol. 67, nº 3, 503-548.

Cavell, S. (1969). Must we mean what we say?. Cambrige: Cambridge University Press.

__________ (1978/2003) Reivindicaciones de razón. Madrid: Síntesis.

Dretske, F. (2003). “Sensation and perception”, en Gunther, Y. (ed) Essays on non conceptual content, Massachussets: The MIT Press.

Dummett, M. (1981). The interpretation of Frege's philosophy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Evans, G. (1982). The varietes of reference. Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press.

Heck (2007). “Are there different kinds of content? en McLaughlin B.P. and Cohen J. (eds.), Contemporary debates in philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 117-138.

Holtzmann, S. & Leich C (ed.) (1981). Wittgenstein: to Follow a Rule. Routledge and Kegan Paul: London, Boston and Henley.

Kripke, S. (1981). Wittgenstein on rules and private language. Cambridge: Basic Blackwell.

McDowell, J. (1984). Wittgenstein. On following a rule. Synthese: 38. 325-363.

__________ (1994). Mind and world. Cambridge, Massachussets, London: Harvard University Press.

__________ (1991). “Intentionality and interiority in Wittgenstein” en McDowell (1998), pp. 297-321.

__________ (1993). “Meaning and intentionality in Wittgenstein´s Later philosophy” en McDowell (1998), pp. 263-278.

__________ (1998). Mind Value and Reality. Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press.

__________ (2009a). Having the world in view. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

__________ (2009b). The engaged intellect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Peacocke, C. (2003). “Non conceptual content. Kinds, rationales and relations”, en Gunther Y. (ed.) Essays on non conceptual content, Massachussets, The MIT Press, pp. 171-190.

Putnam, H. (1999/2001). La trenza de tres cabos, Barcelona, Paidós.

Williams, M. (2002). Is Wittgenstein a foundationalist?, Dratf for Further discussion Boghossian/Horwich Language and Mind seminar, NYU April 9 2002. Recuperado de

Wittgenstein. L. (1953/ 1988). Investigaciones filosóficas, México: UNED.

(1958/ 1993). Cuadernos azul y marrón, Buenos Aires y Barcelona: Planeta De-Agostini

__________ (1969/2006). Sobre la certeza, Barcelona, Gedisa

Wright, C.; (1989). "Wittgenstein's rule-following considerations and the central project of theoretical linguistics", en George A. (ed.) Reflections on Chomsky , Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell; reprinted in Wright (2001).

__________ (1980). Wittgenstein on foundations of mathematics. London: Duckworth.

__________(1992). Truth and objetivity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

__________(2001). Rails to Infinity, Cambridge: Massachussets, Harvard.

__________ (2002). “What is Wittgenstein's point in the rule-following discussion?” Dratf for Further discussion Boghossian/Horwich Language and Mind seminar, NYU.

2002, Recuperado de

__________(2007). “Rule-Following without reasons: Wittgenstein´s quietism and the constitutive question”, Ratio (New series) XX, pp. 481-502.

1 I am grateful for the comments on early versions of this article. Thank you professors Gustavo Agüero, Ana Testa and Marcela Becerra Batan. The reviews, on the other hand, of my external evaluator significantly improved the argumentative force and accuracy of my text (This work was carried out thanks to SeCyT financing).

2 Under John McDowell’s edition, in 1982 The varieties of reference of Gareth Evans was published . Since then, philosophers have considered it is fundamental to study the content of perceptual experiences. If the content is conceptual or not broadly discussed. However, as happens when the issue is crystallized in a couple of concepts , while the range of content is discussed they discuss what is meant by content and what is meant by conceptual. In relation to these points, they are not always agreed on.

The debate can be divided into two main groups. On one hand, the conceptualist - those who believe that the perceptual content is absolutely conceptual. They usually give epistemological arguments suggesting that if perceptual experience must be relevant to knowledge this must play a justificatory role and this role, in turn, is conceivable only when the experience is conceptual. A prominent position in this regard is that of John McDowell in his influential 1994 Mind and World ( cf. McDowell 1994 , 2009a , 2009b , Brewer 1999). Moreover, someone dare to put into question than just our conceptual abilities provide justifications to experience. Hence, they propose that there is non-conceptual content that plays the justificatory role (Heck 2000 , Peacocke 2006 , Dretske 2000 and Burge 2003). Non conceptualists - and the latter alternative mentioned fits in this second approach- argue that the experience is not whollyor partly conceptual . Among them, the most convincing position , in our view , is defended by Bermudez 2003. Moreover, they say that Evans is the main reference of non- conceptualism . In fact, he is the first to pose in the text the idea (or at least to develop it deeply in his analysis ) of "non -conceptual content ". McDowell - as noted, his editor- is against this attribution ( cf. McDowell 1994).

3 Three sources present the question of following a rule in the philosophical spectrum of this decade: Holtzman and Leich (eds.) 1981, Wright 1980 and Kripke 1982. Previously, Stanley Cavell in his reading of Investigations had shown somehow the relevance of the topic of following a rule (Cavell, 1968, 1978). Robert Brandom, in recent years, thinks that the John McDowell’s article (1984) is the best treatment on the issue. For his part, Brandom himself gives central importance to the issue in the first part of his titanic Making It explicit 1994.

4 Wright’s first article on following a rule dates from 1989. To measure the importance of this theme in his work, it is enough to quote what he says about it nearly twenty years after this first essay: "I return to a station –says- at which an interpretative train of thought of mine came to a halt in a paper written almost 20 years ago, about Wittgenstein and Chomsky, hoping to advance a little bit further down the track "(Wright, 2007: 481).

5 As McDowell says: The" skeptical solution "[of Kripke] sharply distinguishes something we can have: a story about social practices of mutual recognition an so forth [...] from something that “skeptical paradox" say we cannot have. A story about facts in which the truth of such attributions would consist "(McDowell, 1993: 267).

6 Everyone agrees, then, on Wittgenstein´s criticism of realism of meaning. Putnam1999 discusses this vision and claims, in his words following McDowell's Mind and World 1994, a wittgensteinian realism that he qualifies as "common sense ". This realism can be traced back according to his approach to certain ideas of William James and John Austin (at least in the version of Sense and Sensibilia 1962). This reading is in line with that of McDowell and indeed the first to admit it is Putnam himself. Both Putnam and McDowell accept that it is obvious that a point of attack of Investigations is a form of conceptual realism synthesized on the idea of platonism but, in turn , they believe that this rejection does not imply the rejection of all forms of realism. According to McDowell, the realist intuition about the objectivity of our concepts should not be abandoned along with the critique of metaphysical realism (cf. McDowell 1993). Richard Rorty disagrees with McDowell on this point. According to the former, the realistic intuition of objectivity dies with the realism’s criticism (see Brandom ( ed ) 2000 : 109-128 ).

7 “[201] It can be seen – says Wittgesntein- that there is a misunderstanding here from the mere fact that in the course of our argument we give one interpretation after another; as if each one contented us at least for a moment, until we thought of yet another standing behind it. What this shows is that there is a way of grasping a rule which is not an interpretation, but which is exhibited in what we call "obeying the rule" and "going against it" in actual cases.

Hence, there is an inclination to say: every action according to the rule is an interpretation. But we ought to restrict “interpetation” to the substitution of one expression of the rule for another”.

8 About the Wittgensteinian awe of coincidence in uses and judgements see first part of Cavell 1978

9 Are these the same classical foundationalist´s self-evident propositions? The answer is no. Michael Williams shows that contrast well between the "judges of structure" that Wittgenstein marks in On Certainty and the self-evident judgments of classical foundationalist: "In contrast to the basic propositions of traditional foundationalism, framework judgments are extremely heterogeneous. They include (among other things) elementary mathematical propositions (12 x 12 = 144) and simple recognitional judgments (“Here is one hand”); but also quite general claims about the world around us (“The Earth has existed for many years past”, “Every human being has two parents)”. Moreover, Williams adds that the "certainty" of these judgments is not based on the self-evidence but "accrues to them as a matter of meaning." And to clarify this idea, he proposes a counterfactual argument: what if someone does not accept them; "And to realize this idea he proposes a counterfactual argument: what if someone does not accept them; "Anyone who does not accept them could not learn the language games in which he is involved and therefore, cannot express any judgment at all" (Williams, 2002). We reinforce this idea by pointing out that the individual who does not accept such basic judgments would not be part of the community.

ISSN (Printed): 0120-4688
ISSN (Electronic): 2389-9387