Wittgenstein illuminates epistemological issues surrounding language by talking of communities, language games and skepticism.
I sketch what I think a dispositional model involves; then consider Kripke's dismissal of dispositional explanations in the context of Wittgenstein's skeptical paradox. It seems to me that Wittgenstein does not attempt to elude or confront skeptical conclusions. His arguments and style of argumentation insist upon the community centered nature of language - and, I suggest, the backdrop continuum of meaningful experiences. This has profound implications for notions of persons, agency and rationality.© SolutionLibrary Inc. solutionlibary.com 9836dcf9d7 https://solutionlibrary.com/philosophy/epistemology/wittgenstein-illuminates-epistemological-issues-surrounding-language-by-talking-of-communities-language-games-and-skepticism-2jo
...ated, Parry's 'circularity charge' could then be seen as the consequence of taking arbitrarily circumscribed slices through identifiable functions and drawing spurious connections between anthropomorphized nodes. In familiar terms, you and I are responsible, or not responsible because of x, y, z ..., for what we have been getting up to.
On this construal, dispositions are not something that agents possess. They are the melding elements generating the experiences subsequently anthropomorphized into agenthood claims. When we say 'disposition', we generally mean disposition of a person, object, substance, circumstance ... to manifest certain behaviors. I propose to speak of dispositions as tendencies, vectors, latent or cathected energies ... without attaching them to particulars. We might also ask whether congeries of dispositions can, should, must ... really be thought of as 'bounded entities'. If the answer turns out to be no, then entities, including human beings, are not antecedent possessors, but consequents.
When consequences become self-aware, as you and I demonstrate, they are inclined to perceive themselves and one another as antecedents. When such precipitately self-congratulatory renderings conflate with subjectivity, a good deal of what human beings get up to becomes comprehensible. In a remark capturing the paradoxical nature of these proceedings, Hans Sluga - disputing Frege's alleged abandonment of the contextual principle in his logicism - writes:
"Is it possible, is it plausible, that he changed his mind on such a historically and philosophically crucial thesis without noticing it or without drawing attention to it? In other places he seems alert to the changes in his own views and willing enough to point them out."
I am interested in the import of such expressions as "without noticing it" and "alert to the changes in his own views". Such expressions are common, yet we ignore their significance, regarding them as whimsical or metaphorical. Writers, especially novelists, regularly report that their creative efforts largely involve getting out of the way while their characters flow through from some deep well-spring. This minimalist involvement does not, however, preclude the agent(s) involved from cashing royalty cheques.
Kripke's objections to dispositional models depend upon such ignoring:
A candidate for what constitutes the state of my meaning one function rather than another, by a given function sign, ought to be such that, whatever in fact I (am disposed to) do, there is a unique thing that I should do. Is not the dispositional view simply an equation of performance and correctness?
Kripke also make the objection that any set of dispositions that an individual might be said to have can be conceived of as being embedded in other circumstances such that they would not yield the meaning they do:
Why am I so sure that one particular hypothesis of this kind is correct when all my past thoughts can be construed so that I meant plus or so I meant Quus? (Quus being some addition-like function that is nonetheless significantly different from addition.)
Thus, it is not sufficient to cite any set of dispositions to explain behaviour ... "is the hypothesis to refer to my present dispositions alone, which would give the right answer by definition? The core difficulty with the dispositional model is that ...
As a candidate for a 'fact' that determines what I mean it fails to satisfy the basic condition ... that it should tell me what I ought to do in each new instance. Ultimately, almost all objections to the dispositional account boil down to this one.
My response, which can only be touched on, makes use of the antecedent/consequent distinction drawn earlier. Kripke's challenge notices that selves have intentions (i.e., to add) that no explanation, in terms of 'pre-dispositions' or any other physiological or psychological explanation, can account for. Thus, an intention has the same status as Strawson's logically primitive person. Once any such claim is ceded, the game is up. Alternatives are necessarily couched in consequent terms, that do not convincingly explain intentionality persons experience as subjective certainty. No psychologism or behaviourism can engage this because it is transcendental in its certitude - in the way Descartes' cogito ergo sum represented the limits of the most disciplined skepticism.
However, if selves are consequents, the privileged status of intentions is also off of the table and something more can be said. This is a way of reading Wittgenstein that seems illuminating. Might not the denial of private rules, private languages, of languages as community accomplishments ... amount to, or at least suggest, the deconstruction of individuals as antecedent fact? Further, on such a reading, Kripke's repudiation of dispositional accounts seems plausible to the extent that one does not take the dispositional model sufficiently seriously. Dispositions are always regarding as 'dispositions of', cast by Kripke (and ordinary usage)as features of, or as some sort of machinery possessed by, entities. These entities include you and I; and we are surely 'disposed' to consider ourselves possessors of (sometimes possessed by!) dispositions. This question of the primitive status of persons or possessors is thus at the heart of the debate. Yet dispositions are not wholes. A la Whitehead, they require occasions to manifest 'vectors'. In every instance, these occasions are complex meldings of endogenous and exogenous elements - and these elements can profitably be conceived of as dispositions. Thus, bundled dispositions constitute what are termed objects, entities and individuals. The exogenous consists is everything not so constituted, or perhaps not yet identified: mass, substance, energy, probability states ... Then, from the point of view of particulars, the exogenous includes the universe, including other particulars.
Closer to home, the activities characterizing the beings we are most interested in derive from two sources. On the one hand there is the liveliness characteristic of organic life - a kind of potential energy striving ...